New Delhi: Following extensive talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said strengthening ties with India is more vital than ever.
According to Truss, the Ukraine crisis demonstrates that nations with similar interests need to cooperate, and that developments there will have far-reaching implications for the world.
"Strengthening relationship with India is more important than it has ever been precisely because we are living in a more insecure world, precisely because we have (Vladimir) Putin's appalling invasion of Ukraine," she said.
"I think it is very significant that sanctions are applied on Russia," she made her remarks alongside Mr. Jaishankar at the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum.
As Ms Truss noted in her opening comment, it is important to respect international law, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
According to Mr Jaishankar, the Roadmap 2030 that was adopted in May last year to help further expand ties has made progress.
According to a statement from the British High Commission, before the talks, Ms Truss will tell Mr Jaishankar that Russia's invasion of Ukraine highlights the need for democracies to work together against "aggressors" and reduce vulnerability to "coercion."
Over the last few days, there have been numerous foreign dignitaries visiting India. US deputy national security adviser Daleep Singh arrived in the country on Wednesday, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov landed in the capital tonight.
Truss wants to reduce the global strategic dependence on Russia ahead of next week's key NATO and G7 meetings, according to a statement by the British High Commission.
"Deeper ties between Britain and India will boost security in the Indo-Pacific and globally, and create jobs and opportunities in both countries," Mr 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 added.
A virtual summit between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May of last year elevated the India-UK relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
During the summit, both sides adopted a 10-year plan for advancing trade, economic, security, and people-to-people ties.