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As India Buys Russian Oil, Can The US Really Lecture India on its Place in History?

India’s position on the Russia-Ukraine-Nato crisis has been rock solid since day one. It’s not our war. It’s not the Indo-Pacific. The United States cannot arm-twist India into unreasonably cutting ties with Russia. And if it attempted to do so, the US would only be shooting itself in the foot and losing out on a bigger battle with China. After all, it is the US that needs India more at this juncture than vice versa.

Such firm posturing from the Indian side was unnerving for many in the West, especially the politicians and policymakers in the United States. How do you deal with a country that is ready to call your bluff? Well, you back off with dignity. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has hinted that India will not be violating sanctions on Russia if it buys Russian oil. She did, however, urge India “to think about where it wants to stand when the history books are written at this moment in time". Nonetheless, this should come as a setback for many recklessly wielding the sanctions threat on behalf of the United States.

India was unfazed by these characters from the beginning. New Delhi repeatedly abstained from voting against Moscow at the United Nations and upped the ante with reports that India may be set to purchase more Russian oil at a discounted price. Some voices in American political circles are just itching to mindlessly ‘punish’ India for seemingly not siding with the United States against Russia, and yet the Biden administration has been cautiously testing the waters on this front instead of going all out, perhaps out of acute awareness of its own position and India’s propensity to eloquently challenge flawed Western narratives of late.


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