Speed Reads

a chat between leaders

U.S., India to continue 'close consultation' on managing effects of Russian invasion, Biden says

President Biden spoke virtually with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in a discussion focused on the consequences of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg reports.

Though India has remained as neutral as possible in the conflict — with Modi reluctant to both criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin and cut off Russian energy imports on which India depends — a Biden administration described the meeting as "warm and productive," Bloomberg writes. Biden also used the discussion to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to helping India diversify its energy imports and cut down on dependence on Moscow.

"I am confident that our friendship with America will be an integral part of India's development journey over the next 25 years," Modi told Biden, per Bloomberg.

Modi also said via an interpreter that he has been angling for peace, and the reports of deaths out of Bucha were "very worrying."

Biden during the discussion praised India for providing Ukraine with humanitarian assistance, though Modi has still thus far failed to take a "harder public line against Russia more than a month after the invasion," Bloomberg writes. "The root of our partnership is a deep connection between our people, ties of family, of friendship and of shared values," Biden said, per The Associated Press.

Despite India's refusal to sanction or publicly condemn Russia, its longtime military partner, Biden affirmed both sides would "continue our close consultation on how to manage the destabilizing effects of this Russian war," he said.

An official told Axios the conversation involved "no concrete ask or concrete answer" on condemning Russia, but that Biden and Modi "were able to step back and have a pretty detailed and candid exchange of views."

"I think India will make its own decisions but we're going to continue the discussions," the official said.