Biden and Modi to discuss Ukraine during online meeting on Monday

US president said that India was an exception among Washington's allies with its 'shaky' response to the Russian offensive

US President Joe Biden hosts India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House in Washington in September. Reuters
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US President Joe Biden will hold online discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, weeks after Mr Biden said India was “shaky” with its response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Biden will use the talks to continue “close consultations on the consequences of Russia's brutal war against Ukraine and mitigating its destabilising impact on global food supply and commodity markets”, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement on Sunday.

The two leaders failed to agree on a joint condemnation of the Russian invasion when they last spoke in early March at a meeting of the so-called Quad alliance, which involves the US, India, Australia and Japan.

India has so far refused to join the votes condemning Moscow at the UN General Assembly, while saying it was deeply disturbed by the alleged killings of civilians by Russian troops in the town of Bucha in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who met Mr Modi in New Delhi this month, praised India for its approach to the conflict.

Mr Biden said on March 21 that India was an exception among Washington's allies with its “shaky” response to the Russian offensive.

Also on the agenda for discussions between Mr Biden and Mr Modi are security in the Asia-Pacific region, the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis, the White House said.

During the Cold War, officially non-aligned India leant towards the Soviet Union — in part as a reaction to US support for arch-rival Pakistan — buying its first MiG-21 fighter jets in 1962.

According to analysts, Russia is India's biggest supplier of heavy arms and India is also Russia's largest customer.

Updated: April 10, 2022, 4:01 PM
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