India cancels UK delegation visit – media — Analysis
London is trying convince India to act against Russia in the Ukraine conflict.
The Indian authorities called off a visit of high-ranking UK officials to India. The delegation consisted of representatives from different parties led by Sir Lindsay Hoyle (House of Commons Speaker), The Guardian reported.
According to the article, 10 British officials of high rank had held discussions with India in January. The delegation had also planned to visit New Delhi as well as Rajasthan. The original goal of the delegation was reportedly to discuss a UK-India free trade deal, but the objective changed in the context of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine. The Guardian reports that the delegation was planning to push New Delhi towards a harder stance against Moscow.
The Indian High Commission apparently changed its mind and brought up objections. The Guardian reports that Indian officials did not have issues with any of the members or were more concerned about British MPs who attempted to convince Prime Minister Modi to move against Russia.
Boris Johnson (UK Prime Minister) called Narendra Modi, Indian PM on Tuesday. The two leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine, as Modi called for the end of hostilities and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty. Modi informed his UK counterpart about India’s humanitarian support, while Johnson said both countries “Should intensify efforts for peace and de-escalation within the region.”
India has yet to impose sanctions or condemn Moscow for its military intervention in Ukraine. Despite international pressure, it continues to buy Russian oil. India has not been willing to cut all ties to Russia. It is currently discussing how to change to ruble rupee trade.
Last week, the UK representatives expressed disappointment over India’s neutral position towards Russia, but expressed hope that its views would change, as the nation continues to be a major trading partner for the UK.
The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited India unannounced on Thursday for talks at high levels with Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister and Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser. According to the Times of India, it was assumed that talks would focus on geopolitical issues surrounding the Russian military operations in Ukraine. India, however, was likely to keep discussions going on the China-India territorial dispute over the Ladakh area.
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