WASHINGTON: The United States has concerns about any country conducting an exercise with Russia which has waged an unprovoked and brutal war against Ukraine, the White House said Tuesday.
It said this in response to a question on a multinational military exercise -- called “Vostok 2022” -- from September 1-7 in Russia which among others would be attended by India and China. This will be the first large-scale multinational military exercise in Russia since the beginning of its offensive in Ukraine.
“The United States has concerns about any country exercising with Russia while Russia wages an unprovoked, brutal war against Ukraine. But, of course, every participating country will make its own decisions. And I’ll leave it at that,” White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard the Air Force One. When she was specifically asked why “not put any pressure on India”, Jean-Pierre said, “My first sentence there is saying that we have concerns over any country exercising with Russia while Russia is waging this unprovoked war.”
When the reporter further asked if the US planned to take any action or do anything about it, the press secretary said, “I don’t have anything else to share.” “But we have -- we have been pretty public -- I’ve been asked this question with other countries as well, and we’ve been pretty consistent in our -- in our statements.
There were no immediate comments from the Indian Army or the Ministry of Defence in New Delhi on the participation of Indian soldiers at the Vostok-2022 military exercises in Russia. Russia’s military contingent in the drills will involve military command centers and troops of the Eastern Military District, Airborne Force units, long-range and military transport planes, the Russian defence ministry said. Last year, India attended Exercise ZAPAD 2021 drills in Russia in which 17 countries including China and Pakistan took part. The Russian defence ministry stated earlier that during the drills the participating forces would practice measures to maintain military security in the eastern region.