Sergei Lavrov and Liz Truss visited India on the same day

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Both Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov are in India, attempting to deepen ties.

Ms Truss is pushing Delhi to collaborate with other democracies in order to oppose Russian invasion of Ukraine by lessening its reliance on Moscow.

India will be urged by Russia’s foreign minister to defy Western sanctions and buy more Russian gas and oil.

India has not criticised the invasion and hasn’t voted against it in the United Nations.

Ms Truss, who has spoken of a “network of liberty,” reminded her Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar that working jointly to dissuade aggressors was critical.

She said the Ukraine war had highlighted the need for “like-minded nations” to work more closely on food security, energy and defence, as she spoke alongside him in Delhi.

The UK also wants tougher sanctions against Russia, including new restrictions on its banks, its ability to use gold reserves, and its access to ports, according to the foreign secretary.

Mr. Lavrov, on the other hand, is using his visit to push for closer trade ties to help mitigate the impact of Moscow’s sanctions. India agreed to acquire three million barrels of substantially discounted Russian oil earlier this month.

The foreign minister arrived in Delhi after meeting with Chinese officials, who similarly refused to criticise Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Delhi’s hesitation to criticise the war, according to the BBC’s diplomatic reporter James Landale, reflects its Cold War relations with Moscow and the fact that nearly 70% of its military gear comes from Russia. India’s position on the conflict has been termed as “somewhat shaky” by US President Joe Biden.

Because of its “connections in both directions,” International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the UK understood why India had “decided to sit on the fence at the time.”

She noted, though, that it was very vital for democratic nations to stand up for their ideals and the rule of law.

However, in a speech in Delhi, Foreign Secretary stated that India was a sovereign nation and that the UK would not dictate to other countries what they should do.

She went on to say that a strong India and a strong UK were “not only good for us, but good for the world.”

Ms Truss will also confirm a £70 million UK commitment in renewable energy development in India, one of the world’s largest users of hydrocarbons, during her visit.

She will unveil a cooperative cyber-security programme aimed at defending both countries’ online infrastructure against cyber-attacks.

Kourtney Spak

Kourtney Spak is an american journalist and political commentator. Her journalism career focuses on American domestic policy and also foreign affairs. She also writes on environment, climate change and economy.