Politics

Liz Truss to urge Narendra Modi to call out Putin over Ukraine invasion in trip to India

Ukraine: Britain ‘will ensure’ Putin fails says Liz Truss

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The Foreign Secretary will meet with India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to discuss the importance of democracies working closely together to “deter aggressors, reduce vulnerability to coercion and strengthen global security” following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Ms Truss, who visited India for the first time as Foreign Secretary in October, is thought to be making the call amid growing concerns in the West over Delhi’s reluctance to denounce Russia’s onslaught against Ukraine.

India relies on Russia for arms imports and has previously abstained in United Nations votes over the invasion.

Prime Minister Modi’s Government announced earlier this month India will import three million barrels of heavily discounted Russian oil after Western leaders slapped sanctions against the Kremlin.

However, Ms Truss is also set to discuss how Anglo-Indian defence trade can strengthen ties between the UK and the Commonwealth country.

Ahead of her trip, the Foreign Secretary said: “Deeper ties between Britain and India will boost security in the Indo-Pacific and globally, and create jobs and opportunities in both countries.

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“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.”

The South West Norfolk MP will then confirm £70million of UK investment funding to support renewable energy development in India.

Ms Truss will also announce a new joint cyber security programme which will look to protect online infrastructure in both the UK and India from attacks.

The announcement comes just months after negotiators from India met with their counterparts from Brexit Britain to discuss striking a free trade agreement.

Negotiations, which started in January, could lead to a deal which could boost total trade by up to £28billion a year by 2035.

The UK Government also claims British wages could see a nationwide increase of £3billion.

Speaking about the potential free trade agreement in January, Boris Johnson said: “A trade deal with India’s booming economy offers huge benefits for British businesses, workers and consumers.

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“As we take our historic partnership with India to the next level, the UK’s independent trade policy is creating jobs, increasing wages and driving innovation across the country.

“The UK has world-class businesses and expertise we can rightly be proud of, from Scotch whisky distillers to financial services and cutting-edge renewable technology.

“We are seizing the opportunities offered in growing economies of the Indo-Pacific to cement our place on the global stage and deliver jobs and growth at home.”

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