White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday, “We have been in touch, of course, with Indian leaders at a range of levels, (however) not through the president.”
Psaki was responding to a question on the US’s stand with respect to India’s decision to buy Russian oil, despite the severe sanctions imposed on Russia by most of the Western countries.
India has been under tremendous pressure to take a side in the ongoing conflict, particularly from the US, which has imposed severe sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in late February this year.
US officials have said in recent weeks they would like India to distance itself from Russia as much as possible, while also recognizing its heavy reliance on Moscow for everything from arms and ammunition to missiles and fighter jets.
Last week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told Indian Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri in a phone call that the country is keen to increase its oil and petroleum product exports to India along with Indian investments in the Russian oil sector, according to a statement issued by Moscow.