No need to politicise cancellation of UK delegation’s visit to India
The Guardian in an article published on March 24 said rift over Ukraine exposed as high-powered UK delegation to India called off
A high-powered cross-party UK delegation to India led by the Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, and his deputy has been called off at the last minute in a sign of a growing rift over India’s refusal to distance itself from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A ‘high-powered’ delegation of British MPs scheduled to visit Delhi and Rajasthan has called off the India trip after the Indian High Commission has raised some objections against their tour to India.
According to the Indian High Commission, the initial purpose of the visit was to deliberate the UK-India free trade deal. Nonetheless, there was delineation after Russia launched its special military operations in Ukraine in February.
“The Speaker-led delegation’s visit, the first such visit to India, was part of the British government’s diplomatic efforts to persuade India to take a stand against Russia and probably to join the Western nations in imposing sanctions against Russia has now been cancelled after the Indian government reportedly refused to entertain the British parliamentary delegation," reads a report from a national newspaper.
It is also being reported that the Modi government isn't in favour of providing a platform for the UK delegation to discuss India’s foreign policy and its stand in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
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British PM Boris Johnson spoke with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in an attempt to use his influence to persuade India to take a more robust position over the Russian invasion.
India has consistently been against war, violence and hostilities in Ukraine. This was reiterated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his telephonic talks with British PM Boris Johnson. Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s consistent appeal for cessation of hostilities and a return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy.
Modi emphasized India's belief in respect for international law and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states, as the basis of the contemporary world order.
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India has not imposed sanctions or even condemned Russia, its biggest supplier of military hardware.
Though India hasn't made any direct remarks against Russia - Ukraine war but time and again India has called to stop hostilities immediately and has asked both the countries to pave a way to end the war through dialogue.
India is known for the strategy of non-alignment and promoting dialogue to resolve issues.
Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director at think tank the Wilson Center, had recently said India's stand is not surprising as it's consistent with its past strategy.
“One can't tilt both ways at the same time. India has not named any country, which shows it won't go against Moscow. India had to be subtle in picking a side and it has done that,” former diplomat J N Misra was quoted by BBC as saying.
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Britain has been concerned by reports that India’s central bank is in initial consultations on a rupee-rouble trade arrangement with Moscow that would enable exports to Russia to continue after western sanctions restricted international payment mechanisms.
So far no comments have been made on the mechanism through which Indian exporters would go on carrying their business with Russia despite Western sanctions. India has also made it clear that it has not yet decided on rupee-rouble trade.
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