- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 3, 2022

President Biden discussed the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine with the Indo-Pacific partnership known as the Quad on Thursday and the leaders agreed to meet in person in Tokyo in “the coming months,” the White House said.

A joint readout of the call said Mr. Biden, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan used the call to assess the broader implications of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

“They agreed to stand up a new humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mechanism which will enable the Quad to meet future humanitarian challenges in the Indo-Pacific and provide a channel for communication as they each address and respond to the crisis in Ukraine,” the readout said. “In their continuing pursuit of a free and open Indo-Pacific, the Quad leaders agreed to meet in person in Tokyo in the coming months.”

The leaders spoke amid some tension with India over its close military relationship with Russia.

India abstained from a U.N. vote this week criticizing Russian actions in Ukraine and Donald Lu, the assistant secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, told Congress the U.S. is “in the process of trying to understand whether defense technology that we are sharing with India today can be adequately safeguarded given India’s historical relationship with Russia and its defense sales.” 

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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