London tries to persuade India to act against Russia amid Ukraine dispute
The visit of a high-ranking British delegation to India, led by members of various political parties and Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle, was canceled at the last minute, The Guardian reported on Thursday. ,
According to the article, a delegation of 10 senior British officers had been in talks with India since January and was planning to visit New Delhi and Rajasthan. The initial purpose of the delegation was apparently to discuss a free trade agreement between the UK and India, but the objective changed in the context of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. The Guardian said the delegates planned to persuade New Delhi to take a tougher stance on Moscow.
It was reported that the Indian High Commission changed its decision and objected at the last minute. It is unclear whether Indian officials had problems with individual members of the delegation or whether they were generally concerned about members of the British Parliament who sought to persuade the Indian prime minister to act against Russia. Guardian reports.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. The two leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine, as Modi called for an end to hostilities and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty. Modi briefed his British counterpart on India’s humanitarian support, while Johnson said that both countries ” must intensify its efforts to bring peace and de-escalation of tension in the region,
So far, India has not sanctioned or condemned Moscow for military action in Ukraine, and has continued to buy Russian oil despite pressure from the international community. India has been reluctant to break ties with Russia and is currently discussing a mechanism to switch to ruble-rupee trade.
Last week, British officials expressed dismay at India’s neutral stance towards Russia, but expressed hope that its approach would change as the country remains a major trading partner for Britain.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in India on Thursday on an unannounced visit for high-level talks with Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. It was assumed that the talks would focus on the geopolitical situation amid the Russian military operation in Ukraine, while India was expected to continue discussions on the Sino-Indian territorial dispute in the Ladakh region, The Times of India reported.
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