Ro Khanna asks India to condemn Putin, stop buying Russian oil

Indian American lawmaker acknowledges US needs “India as an ally ultimately to contain China.”

Indian American Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna has reiterated his call to India to give up its neutral stance and condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine.

Going a step further, he wanted India to stop buying oil from Russian and China and get weapons from the US instead of Russia even as he acknowledged that the US needed India to ultimately contain China.

“I’ve been clear actually on India, and I think India ought to be condemning Putin and India ought not to be getting oil from Russia or China,” Khanna said in an interview with Fox News Sunday.

Read: Ro Khanna wants India to pick sides in Russia’s Ukraine war (March 24, 2022)

“We ought to rally the world around to isolate Putin,” said Khanna, who is also the vice chair of the US India Caucus, the largest country-specific caucus in the House of Representatives.

“First India should condemn Putin in the UN for the blatant human rights violations,” he said. “Second, they need to realize, they have to pick sides.”

“We, the United States, were with them when China invaded India. Putin wasn’t there,” he said.

“And it’s time for them to buy weapons from the United States, not Russia,” said Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley in the House.

“We’ve got to look at how we can facilitate that and make that easier,” he said noting, “We need India as an ally ultimately to contain China.”

In a recent interview with the American Bazaar too, Khanna had asked India to clearly pick sides with a free enterprise democracy over Vladimir Putin’s dictatorship.

Read: Ami Bera asks India not to buy discounted Russian oil (March 17, 2022)

“I think my position is supported by most Indian Americans. They believe and understand what I do,” he had said.

“We have to strengthen the relationship,” Khanna said. “We have to have the defense relationship even more strengthened so that they’re not reliant on arms from Putin, but that they are more building and buying from the United States.”

“And most people in Silicon Valley at least want to strengthen the US India relationship,” Khanna told the American Bazaar. “Want to see them clearly pick sides with a free enterprise democracy as opposed to dictatorship which is what Putin is.”

In the interview with Fox News, Khanna also defended President Joe Biden’s off the cuff remarks that Putin “cannot remain in power” even as he made clear that the US policy is not regime change, but a negotiated end of war.

Read: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: Not producing the New World Order Putin wanted (March 23, 2022)

“US policy is not regime change. It’s negotiated end of this war,” Khanna said noting that the White House had been quick to clarify the US position.

“They have been disciplined and said there has to be negotiated end of this war,” he said. “It’s a Democratic house and it has been Democratic policy for the last 20 years.”

Defending Biden, Khanna said any human being would express frustration over the bombing of women and children in Mariupol.

Read: India ought to condemn Vladimir Putin, says influential Indian American Congressman (March 27, 2022)

“The President was speaking from the heart. But it’s not the US policy to seek the regime change,” he asserted.

Biden’ ad-libbed words — “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power” — in Warsaw Saturday at the end of a European visit – created a firestorm around the world and sent US officials scrambling to clarify the US position.

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