Ahead of next week's India-US '2+2' dialogue, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday spoke to United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, focusing on the latest developments in Ukraine and bilateral ties.
It was the second telephonic conversation between Mr. Jaishankar and Mr. Blinken in a week that came amid increasing disquiet in the West over India's indication to buy larger volumes of discounted crude oil from Russia.
"Spoke to @SecBlinken ahead of our 2+2 consultations. Discussed bilateral issues and latest developments pertaining to Ukraine," Mr. Jaishankar tweeted.
The phone conversation between Mr. Jaishankar and Mr. Blinken came days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid a two-day visit to India during which he said Moscow has begun moving toward conducting trade in national currencies with India and other partners to bypass the "impediments" of Western sanctions.
Last week, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics Daleep Singh also visited India.
Talking to reporters, Mr. Singh had cautioned that there will be consequences for countries actively attempting to "circumvent or backfill" American sanctions against Moscow and that Washington would not like to see a "rapid" acceleration in India's import of energy and other commodities from Russia.
U.S. President Joe Biden recently made a veiled dig at India over its position on the crisis in Ukraine.
Mr. Biden said the world had launched a united front across Europe and the Pacific on the Russian attack on Ukraine with the "possible exception of India".
He also described India's response to the Russian invasion as "somewhat shaky".
The Ukraine crisis is likely to figure in the '2+2' dialogue between India and the U.S., scheduled to be held in Washington on April 11.
However, there is no official announcement on the talks yet.
Mr. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh are set to travel to Washington to hold talks with their American counterparts Mr. Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
In the 2+2 dialogue, the two sides are expected to deliberate on ways to further expand bilateral cooperation in the areas of defence and security besides taking stock of the developments in the Indo-Pacific.