Amid tensions over India’s neutral stance on the invasion that began in late February, the US wants the meetings to focus on how to deepen ties with the South Asian nation.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo will travel to Mumbai and New Delhi for meetings that include Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office, the finance ministry, the Reserve Bank of India and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
And since India will lead the G20 intergovernmental forum in 2023, Treasury says Adeyemo will “discuss key shared priorities such as strengthening energy security, addressing global food insecurity and combating illicit financial flows.” .
India has not shunned Russia despite its membership of the Quad regional alliance with the US, Australia and Japan, instead it has maintained its trade ties with Russia, depending on the Kremlin for energy and other exports.
The nation has increased its purchase of Russian oil, buying roughly 60 million barrels in 2022 so far, compared with just 12 million barrels in all of 2021, according to commodities data firm Kpler.
The US and Europe, however, are moving away from Russian energy, with Treasury officials pushing for a price cap on Russian oil.
A Treasury statement said Adeyemo will meet with executives from the energy and financial services sectors in Mumbai and discuss strengthening US-India economic ties.
He will also highlight “the deep economic, security and cultural ties between our two countries” and discuss ways to build “more resilient supply chains” through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework which India joined as a founding member of may
India is the second most populous country in the world and the largest democracy with a population of 1.4 billion.
On Sunday, President Joe Biden issued a statement celebrating the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, calling the US and India “indispensable partners”.