Amid Russia-Ukraine crisis, UK pushes for closer India ties
Britain said that India's stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict was the result of its dependence on Russia, and therefore, the way forward would be to ensure closer economic and defence ties between India and the UK.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was asked about India's stance during a hearing of the UK Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), the influential cross-party panel responsible for examining the administration and policy of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
"I have spoken to my counterpart, Minister Jaishankar, and encouraged India to stand against Russia and made it very clear that we see this as a violation of sovereignty, that every country that believes in freedom and democracy should absolutely abhor," said Truss.
"I think the issue for India is there is some level of dependence on Russia, both in terms of its defence relationships but also in terms of its economic relationships. And I think the way forward is for a closer economic and defence relationship with India. Both by the United Kingdom and also our like-minded allies," she said.
Referencing the ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, which entered its second phase in London on March 7, the minister said the aim was to bring India closer into a circle of democratic nations.
India has so far abstained in all Ukraine-related votes condemning Russian action at the UN, including on a resolution each in the Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council. It has stressed the need for an immediate end to violence in favour of a path of diplomacy.