Sunak Urges India to Press Russia Over Ukraine War
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to persuade India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call on Russia to be accountable for its invasion of Ukraine and to use its influence to help end the conflict, according to the Financial Times.
Sunak, the first British Prime Minister of Indian origin, is heading to Delhi to participate in the annual G20 summit. This marks his first trip to the country since taking office at Downing Street.
Ahead of his visit, Downing Street announced that Sunak will also raise the issue of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and encourage Modi to take a more active diplomatic stance.
The UK Prime Minister's spokesperson stated that Sunak will "seize any opportunity" during his trip to emphasize the UK's support for Kyiv and "further bolster global backing."
Sunak's office emphasized that India, as the world's largest democracy, should play a "crucial role in resisting Russia's assault on human rights and democracy."
Despite Sunak's planned appeals, it is believed that the Indian government is unlikely to take a more active position regarding Russia.
The 18th G20 summit is scheduled to be held in New Delhi on September 9-10.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has already announced that he will not attend the summit in New Delhi and will send Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov instead.
India did not invite Ukraine to the summit, explaining that G20 does not deal with "conflict resolution."
Throughout the entire war in Ukraine, India maintained neutrality, but Modi mentioned its impact on food and commodity prices and its collateral influence on his country and other developing economies.
Modi also repeatedly emphasized that this is "not the era of war," even as India purchased Russian oil at reduced prices throughout the conflict, and Moscow remains its largest arms supplier.
On Friday, Sunak also intends to unveil plans for a global summit on food security in London in November in response to Russia's "blockade" of grain exports from Ukraine.
The event will be held in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, the United Arab Emirates, and Somalia.
Meanwhile, although UK officials have long lost hope of concluding a trade deal with India in time for the G20 summit, both sides have accelerated the pace of negotiations.
Britain hopes to expand its whisky and automobile market in India while increasing services and investment opportunities. India seeks to export more industrial goods and services to the UK and obtain additional work visas for its citizens.