U.S.-India 2+2 Dialogue: Ukraine Dominates Modi-Biden Talks
The United States (U.S.) President Joe Biden met virtually with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus in Washington on April 11, 2022.
The leaders met for the fourth ‘2+ 2’ foreign and defence ministry dialogue, which is a format of the meeting of the foreign and defence ministers of India and its allies on security issues. India has 2+2 dialogues with four key strategic partners, the US, Australia, Japan, and Russia.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were also present at the meeting. The Russia-Ukraine war prominently dominated the talks. Biden and Modi discussed the Ukrainian war at the meeting. The leaders also discussed regional and global issues. Modi described the situation in Ukraine as “very worrying” and said he had talked with both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the matter. Joe Biden said, “I want to welcome India’s humanitarian support for the people of Ukraine.”
At 2+2 talks, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken yet again stressed that India has to make its own decisions on the Russia-Ukraine war.
The two leaders also talked about the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy, climate change and the recent developments in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region. A senior U.S. administration official said that the Sri Lanka and Pakistan crisis was also part of the discussion but not discussed in a detailed manner.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “The President (Joe Biden) made clear that he does not believe it’s in India’s interest to accelerate imports of Russian energy and other commodities.” Reportedly, India imports only a small 1-2 per cent of its energy from Russia. The foreign minister also said that India’s monthly purchase of Russian energy is less than Europe’s in an afternoon.