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Ukraine crisis high on agenda in UK Foreign Secretary's India visit

"Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is in India today as part of a wider diplomatic push following Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine last month," the statement said.

March 31, 2022 / 06:46 AM IST
AP

AP

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will convey to her Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on Thursday that Russia's invasion of Ukraine underlines the importance of democracies to work together to deter "aggressors" and reduce vulnerability to "coercion".

A statement released by the British High Commission said this as Truss begins a visit to India. "Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is in India today as part of a wider diplomatic push following Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine last month," the statement said.

"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," it said.

There has been a flurry of visits by foreign dignitaries to India in the last few days. US deputy national security adviser Daleep Singh arrived in India on Wednesday while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is scheduled to land in New Delhi on Thursday.

According to the statement, Truss wants to "counter" Russia's aggression and reduce global strategic dependence on the country ahead of key NATO and G7 meetings next week.

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"Deeper ties between Britain and India will boost security in the Indo-Pacific and globally, and create jobs and opportunities in both countries," Truss is quoted as saying in the statement.

"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 said.

Truss said 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".

She will also work to deepen cyber security and defence cooperation between the two countries and will announce a new joint cyber security programme. The statement by the UK said the programme will aim to protect online infrastructure in both countries from attacks.

It said India and the UK will work together to increase cyber security and carry out joint exercises to practise combatting threats from cybercriminals and ransomware. "The UK and India will also agree to closer maritime co-operation in the Indo-Pacific," it said.

"The UK will join India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and become a lead partner on maritime security issues, coordinating work with key partners in Southeast Asia," it added. According to the statement, the foreign secretary will also confirm 70 million pounds of British International Investment (BII) funding to support renewable energy use in India.

"This will help build renewable energy capacity and develop solar power in the region. She will also confirm plans for a new platform to allow British investors to bid for green infrastructure, technology, and business opportunities in India," it said. The statement said the current volatility in oil and gas prices and energy security concerns as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, underscored the importance of India's green transition and move towards energy self-sufficiency.

"Strengthening ties with India has been a priority for the foreign secretary since taking up the role," it said. This is her second trip to India as the foreign secretary following her visit last October.



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PTI
first published: Mar 31, 2022 06:48 am
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