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Newsline: U.S., U.K. wary as Russia praises India’s neutrality on Ukraine

A flurry of visits by Russian and Western diplomats is unlikely to change India’s neutral stance on the war in Ukraine, experts say, particularly since the war has the support of a public being bombarded by media coverage that blames the U.S. for the conflict. While U.S. and British officials in New Delhi this week pressured India to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov praised the government for not taking a “one-sided view.” “We appreciate that India is taking this situation in the entirety of facts,” Lavrov said Friday after meeting with his counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, in the Indian capital. (https://news.yahoo.com/russia-west-court-india-no-083017515.html) Lavrov also said India and Russia would use a rupee-ruble mechanism so they could continue their trade in oil and other goods despite Western sanctions against U.S.-dollar transactions with Moscow. A day earlier, a U.S. official said that while Washington is not opposed to India buying Russian oil, which is being steeply discounted after the U.S., Britain and other countries declared embargoes, it does not want to see a “rapid acceleration” in such imports. Like China, India has called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict but abstained from voting on U.N. resolutions critical of Russia’s actions. That gives confidence to smaller countries in Asia and elsewhere that are also trying to balance their relations with world powers.

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