EU chief to seek closer military, trade and tech ties on India visit

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s go to is a part of Western efforts to encourage India to scale back its ties to Russia after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, and follows a visit final week by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“There are a whole host of Western leaders reaching out to India right now to see what alternatives we can provide,” the senior EU official stated. “The key is that we want to bring forward this relationship, work on technology together and bring India into our camp, that’s the main message of our visit,” the official stated.

Von der Leyen arrived in India on Sunday for a two-day official go to, her first as president of European Commission.

India has not explicitly condemned the Feb. 24 invasion by Russia, its largest provider of army {hardware}.

Von der Leyen goals to agree with India’s premier, Narendra Modi, to arrange a brand new commerce and expertise council just like an EU-U.S. mannequin, which may focus on digital privateness, regulation of expertise firms and social media platform supervision, the senior EU official stated.

The EU and India may even probably conform to relaunch free commerce talks, which had been frozen in 2013 over variations together with tariff reductions and patent safety, and haven’t moved ahead considerably since an EU-India digital summit in May 2021.

India, the world’s second-most populous nation with practically 1.4 billion individuals, is seen by the EU as a vital ally to assist handle China’s rise from a benign buying and selling companion to a rival energy with a rising army presence.

A 2020 research by the European Parliament put the advantages of a commerce deal for the EU with India at as much as 8.5 billion euros ($9.17 billion), though the estimate was made earlier than Britain’s departure from the bloc.

($1 = 0.9264 euros)

(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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