US, India Agree to Expand Military Cooperation Despite Tensions Over Russia

The US has been boosting military ties with India to counter China

On Monday, the US and India pledged to increase military cooperation despite tensions between the two nations over New Delhi’s relationship with Moscow.

The two countries agreed to increase military interoperability and intelligence sharing. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin discussed the agreement to boost ties at a press conference with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh that was also attended by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

“The People’s Republic of China is seeking to refashion the region and the international system more broadly in ways that serve its interests. And so I’m pleased that we’ve identified new opportunities to extend the operational reach of our militaries and to coordinate more closely together across the expanse of the Indo-Pacific,” Austin said.

The US has increased military ties with India in recent years as part of its effort to counter China in the region. In 2020, the two countries signed a new military pact that allows the US to share more satellite data with New Delhi, which is being used by India to keep an eye on the Chinese military near the disputed border in the Himalayas.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the Biden administration has been criticizing India’s response. New Delhi has abstained from condemning the invasion and has continued to buy Russian oil, which accounts for very little of India’s energy imports. When asked about oil purchases from Russia, Jaishankar pointed out that European countries buy much more than India.

“I suspect, looking at the figures, probably our total purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon. So you might want to think about that,” Jaishankar said.

In a sign of tensions, Blinken offered a rare comment from a US official on alleged human rights abuses in India. “We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values and to that end, we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison officials,” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.