Leaked intelligence documents show that key nations, including some of the most populous in the world, don’t want to follow along with President Biden’s policies toward Russia and China, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
The report cited intelligence assessments allegedly leaked by Jack Teixeira that show the private thinking of several major countries, including India, Brazil, Pakistan, and Egypt.
While the US and India have increased military ties in recent years to cooperate against China, New Delhi has maintained a good relationship with Russia and has become a major buyer of Russian oil.
According to one of the leaked documents, India appeared to avoid taking sides between the US and Russia during a February 22 conversation between India’s national security advisor, Ajit Kumar Doval, and his Russian counterpart, Nikolay Patrushev.
During the conversation, Doval assured Patrushev that India supports Russian participation in international venues. Doval said India would ensure the war in Ukraine did not come up during a meeting of G20 foreign ministers New Delhi hosted at the beginning of March.
Some of the documents detail the private concerns of Pakistani officials, including a memo circulated by Hina Rabbani Khar, Pakistan’s minister of state for foreign affairs. In the memo, Khar said Islamabad could “no longer try to maintain a middle ground between China and the United States.”
Khar appeared to argue for Islamabad to favor stronger ties with Beijing over Washington. She said preserving the relationship with the US could impact the benefits of Pakistan’s “real strategic” partnership with China.
The leaked documents include information about Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s plans to form a coalition of neutral countries seeking peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, which he later discussed with Chinese President Xi Jinping. According to the Post, the leaks show officials at the Russian Foreign Ministry are supportive of Lula’s plan.
The Biden administration has been furious over Lula’s comments on the war. He has said the US is “encouraging” the conflict by pouring weapons into Ukraine, an observation the White House dismissed as Russian and Chinese propaganda.
Lula also angered the US by allowing Iranian warships to dock in Brazil in March. According to one of the leaked documents, the Pentagon assessed Lula “likely approved the port call to bolster his reputation as a global mediator and burnish Brazil’s image as a neutral power.” The Pentagon did not think the visit meant Brazil and Iran would boost military ties.
President Biden and his administration have stressed that alliance-building and working with other nations is key to achieving their foreign policy goals. But as tensions have escalated, many countries outside of Europe are reluctant to choose the US over Russia or China. Within Europe, there is opposition to the US’s China policies as French President Emmanuel Macron recently said Europe shouldn’t follow Washington into a confrontation with Beijing over Taiwan.