India’s response to the Russian attack on Ukraine has been “somewhat shaky”, United States President Joe Biden said on Monday.
“The Quad is – with the possible exception of India being somewhat shaky on some of this – but Japan has been extremely strong, so has Australia, in terms of dealing with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s aggression,” the United States president said.
The “Quad” or Quadrilateral coalition comprises India, Japan, the United States and Australia. The four countries had discussed the Ukraine crisis at a virtual summit held on March 3.
At the meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had emphasised on the need to “return to a path of dialogue and diplomacy” to resolve the crisis.
Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had said that the four countries agreed that “unilateral changes to the status quo with force like this should not be allowed in the Indo-Pacific region.
In a similar vein, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Quad countries are resolute in their commitment to a free India-Pacific region “where smaller states do not need to live in fear of more powerful ones,” according to the agency.
Since the attack on Ukraine began on February 24, India has abstained from voting on four United Nations resolutions on the subject. The last such resolution, adopted by United Nations Human Rights Council on March 4, pertained to the setting up of an international commission to investigate the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
On February 24, Biden had said that the United States was in consultation with India about the latter’s stand on the conflict. “We haven’t resolved that completely,” he had said, in response to a question from the media.
On March 17, a bipartisan group of US Congressmen had urged India to speak out against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Representatives Joe Wilson and Ro Khanna, a person of Indian origin, had discussed the matter with India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu.