India partners with Russia as it sees US as weak, doesn't trust it to lead: Haley

Washington, Feb 8 (IANS) Asserting that India has always played it smart, Indian-American Republican Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley said that the country partners with Russia as it doesn’t trust the US to win and lead.

In an interview with Charles Payne of Fox Business News, the 51-year-old former UN ambassador said that she has “dealt” with India and spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“India wants to be a partner with us. They don’t want to be a partner with Russia. The problem is India doesn’t trust us to win. They don’t trust us to lead. They see right now that we’re weak,” Haley said, responding to a volley of questions on the US “letting” India buy cheap oil from Russia.

Despite efforts by Ukraine and its allies to persuade countries around the world to distance themselves from Russia, India’s oil purchases from the Central Asian nation rose sharply.

While Western nations cut Russian oil imports at the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, a White House official said that every sovereign country, including India, has the right to buy oil or lubricants from any country.

“India has always played it smart. They play it smart and they stay close with Russia because that’s where they get a lot of their military equipment,” Haley said, adding that the US needs to “get the weakness out”.

The two-time former South Carolina governor said things will get better when the US “acknowledges” that it has a problem.

“We need to start building up our alliances. You have to first acknowledge you have a problem,” she said.

“When we start to lead again, when we start to get the weakness out and stop putting our head in the sand, that’s when our friends, India, Australia, New Zealand, all of them will — and Israel, Japan, South Korea — all of them want to do that.”

Citing examples of India and Japan, Haley said the countries gave themselves a billion-dollar stimulus to become less dependent on China.



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