United States Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh, the prime architect of the sanctions imposed on Russia, said there will be “consequences” for countries that “actively attempt to bypass the sanctions” only hours before Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov landed in Delhi.
Singh slammed the China-Russia relationship, which both sides have described as having “no bounds,” saying it had ramifications for India.
“Don’t kid yourself: Russia will always be the junior partner in this relationship with China.” And the more leverage China gains over Russia, the worse it is for India,” he explained. “I don’t believe anyone believes that if China breaches the Line of Actual Control again, Russia will rush to India’s defence.”
So, in that scenario, we really encourage democracies all over the world, particularly the Quad, to come together and express your common interests and worries about the developments in Ukraine and the repercussions.”
Singh, an Indian-American official who is the driving force behind US sanctions against top Russian officials and oligarchs such as President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, met with senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, Finance, and External Affairs ministries in Delhi. On Wednesday, he met with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. Singh has also been sanctioned by Russia.
Lavrov landed in Delhi from Beijing on Thursday evening and will meet with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss met with Jaishankar on Thursday morning.
“We are quite keen for all countries, especially our allies and partners, not to build systems that prop up the ruble and attempt to undermine the dollar-based financial system,” Singh said, emphasising that “friends don’t set red lines.”
“We would not like to see anyone taking advantage of the circumstances to rapidly boost energy supplies at cross purposes with our strategic objectives in the sanctions regime,” he added, emphasising that “today importing Russian energy does not violate any of the restrictions.”
When asked if any specific transaction, such as the S-400, would be subject to penalties, he was diplomatic, saying, “That’s the subject of private conversations, I’m not going to divulge that… I’m going to keep conversations about specific transactions and hypotheticals secret.”
“The objective of these penalties is to change the strategic calculus to convey plainly that if he continues to pursue this wasteful, illegal, unprovoked war of aggression, it will be a strategic failure,” Singh said in support of the measures.
He outlined “five channels of sanctions,” including imposing “immediate and acute costs” on Russia’s largest banks and central bank, cutting off “necessary” technologies, revoking MFN status and denying Russia IMF and World Bank borrowing privileges, “holding the Russian Kleptocracy to account,” and “downgrading Russia’s status as a leading energy supplier.”
“I’ve come here in a friendly attitude to explain the mechanics of our penalties and the need of joining us to express shared resolve and pursue shared goals.” And, absolutely, countries who deliberately strive to avoid or backfill sanctions will face consequences,” Singh warned.
Last year, the Biden administration named Singh as Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs.