The United States has dismissed questions about India's participation in the recent multinational military exercises hosted by Russia and attended by countries like China, saying that India is a sovereign nation and it can make its own decisions.
"Certainly, we have appreciated our partnership with India in the region. They're an important partner, as you know. And we'll continue to work closely with them," Pentagon Spokesman Brig Gen Patrick Ryder told reporters while responding to a question on India participating in Vostok military exercises with Russia and China.
"India's a sovereign nation, they can make their own decisions in terms of who they're going to conduct exercises with," Ryder told reporters on Tuesday.
The Vostok military exercises was held from September 1 to 7 at different locations in Russia's Far East amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the Vostok 2022 exercise involved more than 50,000 troops and over 5,000 weapons units, including 140 aircraft and 60 warships. The drills engaged troops from China, India, Laos, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Syria and several ex-Soviet nations.
"We have a very close partnership and relationship - defence relationship with India. We obviously will continue to work with India and further develop that relationship," Ryder said.
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