New Delhi, February 3
The chief of foreign affairs committee in Ukraine's Parliament has asked the US to impose secondary sanctions on China and India if they keep buying Russian energy.
Oleksandr Merezhko said he was reluctant to suggest the imposition of sanctions on India but the Ukraine-Russia conflict transcended considerations of familiarity.
Having lived in New Delhi, he felt it was “painful” to witness India buying Russian oil. It was necessary to sanction India along with China because, “they should be consistent. This is a global conflict between democracy -- the free world -- and authoritarian regimes. There shouldn't be any compromise because of material economic interest,” Merezhko told reporters accredited to the US State Department Correspondents' Association.
The influential Ukrainian MP was amplifying his Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba's criticism of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for defending India's purchase of Russian oil.
Merezhko did not agree with the perception of some in Ukraine who feared that sanctions on China for buying oil might push it to supply arms to Russia in retaliation.
“I've been trying to explain that this is not the problem. China is not afraid of Ukraine; China is afraid of American sanctions. Which means the US can and should deter China from helping Russia and preferably introduce secondary sanctions to stop China from financing the Russian economy and the Russian military machine by buying Russian oil and gas,” he said.
Merezhko was in the Chief of Parliament foreign affairs committees of Lithuania Zygimantas Pavilionis to tighten the sanctions noose around Russia.
India had earlier acceded to the US threat of secondary sanctions and stopped buying oil from Iran.
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