Ahead of NATO and G7 meetings next week to tackle Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has sent a message to New Delhi about the need “to reduce strategic dependency on Russia at this time of heightened global insecurity.”
Ms Truss arrived in New Delhi on March 31 to hold talks with her Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar on a range of issues, including the Ukraine crisis and bilateral issues such as bolstering deepen security and defence ties.
During her day-long visit, she will also meet Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
In a meeting with India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the Foreign Secretary will say Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underlines the importance of democracies working closer together to deter aggressors, reduce vulnerability to coercion and strengthen global security, said the British High Commission in a statement in New Delhi
The Foreign Secretary will point to the importance of all countries reducing strategic dependency on Russia at this time of heightened global insecurity, said the UK High Commission.
Ms Truss’ visit has coincided with the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to New Delhi, indicating that New Delhi is unlikely to downgrade ties with Moscow. India is expected to assert its strategic autonomy and continue with diplomatic balancing between ties with the West and its time-tested relations with Moscow.
Issues relating to deepening maritime co-operation in the Indo-Pacific will figure prominently in discussions.
“Deeper ties between Britain and India will boost security in the Indo-Pacific and globally, and create jobs and opportunities in both countries,” said Ms Truss.
“This matters even more in the context of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and underlines the need for free democracies to work closer together in areas like defence, trade and cyber security,” she added.
Lauding India as an economic and tech powerhouse, the world’s largest democracy and a great friend of Britain, Ms Truss underscored that she will focus on building “an even closer relationship between our two nations.”
The talks in New Delhi will pave the way for a visit by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson next month, said reliable sources.
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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