Biden to the leaders of the Indo-Pacific region: We are going through a dark hour of common history

US President Joseph Biden told Indo-Pacific leaders at a summit of the four countries today that the world was going through a “dark hour of its common history” due to the brutal Russian war in Ukraine and called on them to make greater efforts to stop Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

“This is no longer just a European issue, it is a global issue,” Biden said today in Tokyo at the beginning of the Quad summit (USA, Japan, Australia and India).

Although he did not directly name any country, his message seems to have been directed at least in part at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with whom there are still differences over the response to the Russian invasion.

Unlike other countries in the Quad, and almost every other American ally, India has not imposed sanctions, nor has it even condemned Russia, its largest arms supplier.

Biden emphasized that the world has a common responsibility to do something to help the Ukrainian resistance against Russian aggression.

“We are going through a dark hour of our common history. Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine has created a humanitarian catastrophe and innocent civilians have been killed in the streets and millions have been internally displaced and in exile. The world must address this and we are doing it,” Biden said.

The White House praised several Pacific countries, including Japan, Singapore and South Korea, for imposing harsh sanctions on Russia with export bans and offering humanitarian and military aid to Kiev.

For several major Asian powers, the Russian invasion was an important moment when the world, with a strong response to Russia’s actions, shows that China should not occupy the disputed territories by military action.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, citing Russian aggression in Ukraine, told other leaders: “We cannot allow the same to happen in the Indo-Pacific region.”

The White House is disappointed with the relative silence of India, the world’s largest democracy.

Biden called on Modi not to speed up the purchase of Russian oil, as the United States and other allies are trying to curb Russia’s energy revenues.

The Indian Prime Minister has not publicly committed to stop the supply of Russian oil.

Faced with Western pressures, India condemned the civilian suffering in Ukraine and called for an immediate end to hostilities.

India, however, has also contributed to the negative effects of the war caused by the global food shortage by banning grain exports at a time when the risk of famine is growing in parts of the world.

The Indian Prime Minister did not speak about the Russian war against Ukraine in his address at the summit.

The summit was held on the last day of Biden’s five-day visit to Japan and South Korea, his first presidential trip to Asia.

The meeting also saw the new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese enter the global stage for the first time.

He came to Tokyo yesterday after taking the oath of office as prime minister. His center-left Labor Party defeated Prime Minister Scott Morrison in this weekend’s election, ending a nine-year Conservative rule.

Biden, Modi and Kishida welcomed Albanese to the club and expressed admiration for his determination to join this informal security coalition so soon after taking office.

Albaneze told other leaders that he was committed to the group’s mission to keep the Indo-Pacific region free and open.

“We had a change of government in Australia, but Australia’s commitment to Quad has not changed and will not change,” Albanese said.

By Editor

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