The United States is ready to support India diversify its energy imports, said the White House on Wednesday, reiterating its desire that New Delhi does not purchase Russian oil amid US and Western sanctions on Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, “We do not think India should accelerate or increase imports of Russian energy and other commodities even as, obviously, those decisions are made by individual countries.
“And (the US is) also making clear that we stand ready to support India as in any efforts to diversify its imports and serve as a reliable supplier even as they're only importing about one to two per cent of their oil from Russia."
US Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh was in New Delhi last week. He held discussions with Indian officials on the Russian sanctions.
Psaki said, “We have a range of ways to communicate and engage. And obviously, sending our Deputy National Security Advisor is an example of that. But clearly, our preference would be to have a confirmed ambassador."
The nomination of the US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, is pending in the US Senate as he does not have enough votes for his confirmation.
Psaki added, “Our preference is always to have a confirmed ambassador on the ground. It's an incredibly important diplomatic position. We also engage with countries through a range of channels. And obviously, our deputy National Security Advisor was just in India recently in the last few weeks, conveying clearly what the consequences of violating sanctions would be and what the mechanisms are."
Garcetti, President Joe Biden's choice for India envoy, has been embroiled in a sex scandal, which has complicated his confirmation in the US Congress.
With PTI inputs