A senior United States administrative official who has played a key role in the country’s sanctions against Russia will arrive in India for a two-day visit on Wednesday, the White House announced.
The official, Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Daleep Singh, will be in New Delhi on Wednesday and Thursday. His visit may coincide with that of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is likely to reach India on Thursday evening or Friday morning, PTI reported.
Singh will “consult closely with counterparts on the consequences of Russia’s unjustified war against Ukraine and mitigating its impact on the global economy”, said Emily Horne, the spokesperson of the United States’ National Security Council.
Horne added that Singh will meet Indian government officials “to deepen cooperation to promote inclusive economic growth and prosperity, and a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
Singh’s visit will also coincide with that of the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Thursday. Truss is slated to meet India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to discuss “bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest”, according to the Union government.
She will also participate in the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum, organised by think-tank Indian Council of World Affairs and Policy Exchange.
An official told The Hindu that Singh’s travel to India was decided before reports about Russian foreign minister’s visit emerged. The official was responding to a question on whether the United States official’s visit was timed in order to pre-empt the discussions with Lavrov.
Singh’s visit comes just six days after the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to New Delhi. This was the highest-level visit by a Chinese leader since the border clashes along the Line of Actual Control two years ago strained ties between both the countries.
India has so far abstained on a series of United Nations votes condemning the Russia invasion of Ukraine. One such resolution was backed by 141 countries, but a Russian diplomat argued the critics represented less than half of the global population with India and China abstaining from voting.
On March 21, United States President Joe Biden had said that India’s response to the Russian attack on Ukraine has been “somewhat shaky”.