UK’s Liz Truss urges India to join West in opposing Russian attack on Ukraine

Foreign Secretary is concerned that New Delhi’s support for Russia will weaken the impact of West’s economic sanctions

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will urge India to work with other democracies to counter Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. PA
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UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is to urge India to work with other democracies to counter Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

Ms Truss is in New Delhi for talks with counterparts amid concern in the West about prime minister Narendra Modi’s reluctance to publicly condemn the actions of Russia – a long-standing ally dating back to the Cold War.

India, which is heavily reliant on Moscow for arms imports, has abstained in a series of votes in the UN on the invasion.

This month, India agreed to import three million barrels of heavily discounted Russian oil when the impact of international sanctions forced Moscow to drop its prices.

Although the amount was relatively small, there are concerns the volume could increase in the coming months, potentially weakening the impact of economic sanctions.

Ms Truss will use her visit to confirm £70 million ($91.9 million) of UK investment funding to support the supply of renewable energy to India, which remains one of the world’s biggest users of hydrocarbons.

She will also announce a new joint cyber security programme to protect online infrastructure in both countries from attacks.

Since taking office in 2019, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set great store by building relations with India, and last year struck a landmark agreement with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, to strengthen ties over the next decade.

“Deeper ties between Britain and India will boost security in the Indo-Pacific and globally, and create jobs and opportunities in both countries,” Ms Truss said.

“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.

“India is an economic and tech powerhouse, the world’s largest democracy and a great friend of Britain, and I want to build an even closer relationship between our two nations.”

Updated: March 30, 2022, 10:41 PM