After lining up stringent economic sanctions against Russia, the United States government is now busy exerting pressure on China and India to cut all economic ties and not to help Russia out in the Ukraine crisis.
This comes amid growing apprehension in Washington over whether Beijing and New Delhi will bail out Moscow from a debacle the west is seeking to impose on it.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi in Rome on Monday to convey Washington's concerns over the possible military and financial aid to Russia after US officials claimed over the weekend that Moscow was seeking military supplies and economic assistance from China on finding itself in a quagmire in Ukraine. China rubbished the reports calling it disinformation.
India has not figured publicly in the US concerns about countries coming to Russia's help but reports that New Delhi is considering buying Russian crude and other commodities at discounted prices with payment via a rupee-rouble transaction animated discourse in Washington, where US partisans see a Moscow-Beijing-New Delhi partnership emerging, despite tensions between China and India and healthy ties between US and India.
While the US seeks to put pressure on China not to bail out Russia, Washington's energy-dependent Nato partners have it easier, with US ‘understanding'. They continue to buy Russian gas and oil, virtually underwriting Moscow's invasion of Ukraine even as they condemn it.
Both China and India have refused to condemn outright Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with the only common thread between them being their disquiet over Nato's overreach that Moscow found provocative. But while China and Russia have developed close ties in recent years with a wary eye on the US, India has strived for good ties with both Washington and Moscow, in part due to its tensions with China.
Experts believe while the US demands from China are strident and public, its pressure on India is more muted, with expressions of understanding New Delhi's long-standing military supplies dependency on Russia. US officials and analysts are warning that should China come to Russia's aid, then it will also face global isolation and economic penalties.
Meanwhile, the US experts are skeptical as some analysts maintain that China greenlighted the Russian invasion, in part to assess how its own putative assault in Taiwan would be received.