India‘s relations with US independent of ties with Russia, China: Ram Madhav

India’s relations with the United States are independent of its ties with Russia and China and not influenced by them, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav has said in Washington

“Regional politics demand that we build strong bilateral relations with important powers in the region, some of them happen to be having difficulties with the US. But that will not have any bearing on our relationship with the US,” Madhav said, when asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent meetings with China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Madhav pointed to India’s “de-hyphenated foreign policy” of some years now to make his case.

“We have certain regional imperatives that command us to establish relationship with powers of different poles in the region,” he said.

Madhav’s remarks, made on Monday, assume importance as India seeks to pick its way through a minefield of sanctions that the US has imposed on Russia in recent months and Washington’s spiralling war of tariff threats against Beijing.

During his visit to Washington, Madhav has met White House senior director for South Asia Lisa Curtis, acting assistant secretary of state Alice Wells, and senior state department official for policy planning Brian Hook. He has also had several closed-door meetings at think tanks Heritage Foundation and Atlantic Council, and with trade body US-India Business Council.

New Delhi has also watched with growing concern as the Trump administration pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal and snapped back sanctions against Tehran that would force India to review its oil purchases from Iran — its third largest supplier.

US sanctions against Russia, under a 2017 law called the Combating American Adversaries Through Sanction Act (CAATSA), threaten sanctions against third-party countries making “significant” purchases from designated Russian entities. India is worried about the impact of this law on its plans to buy Russian S-400 air defence missile systems.