Britain helps India build fighters to reduce its dependence on Russia: Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on a visit to New Delhi on Friday that Britain would help India build its own fighter to reduce its reliance on Russia’s weapons supply.

Johnson also said the UK has created a general export license unique to India to reduce delivery times for defense items. Currently, only the European Union and the United States have such licenses.

However, he stopped pressing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strengthen his position on Russian President Vladimir Putin over the invasion of Ukraine.

When he first visited India as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Johnson discussed with Modi how to strengthen security relations with India, which purchases more than half of its military hardware from Russia.

India has abstained from voting at the United Nations condemning the aggression and has not imposed sanctions on Moscow.

After meeting with Modi, Johnson said India is unlikely to end its long-standing relationship with Russia.

“The historical position of Indians in Russia is well known. Of course, they are not going to change that,” he said at a press conference on the last day of his two-day trip.

“But they can see what’s going on and there’s a growing desire to do more in the UK,” he said.

Johnson tried to downplay India’s neutral nation by saying that Modi asked Putin “what do you think he is doing” in one of the “several” interventions.

Mr Johnson clearly mentions the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) administration, and India and the United Kingdom work together to counter the growing “dictatorial coercion” and keep the Indo-Pacific “open and free.” He said he had to deepen.

According to 10 Downing Street, Mr Johnson talked for about 45 minutes at the government building in Hyderabad House and up to 15 minutes in Ukraine.

India’s Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs Hirsch Waldan Schlingla said Johnson did not put pressure on Modi on his position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Prime Minister Johnson shared his views and Prime Minister Modi shared our views, which means that the war between Russia and Ukraine should end immediately,” Schlingla told reporters. “There was no pressure of any kind.”

An official Johnson spokesman said Modi asked Johnson’s “outlook” about Russia’s invasion. Especially in light of the recent visit to the capital of Kieu.

But a spokesman said Johnson was “not there to talk to other democracies about what they should do.”

Johnson said at a news conference that the two countries had made progress in the post-Brexit free trade agreement, which could be completed by October.

Johnson admitted that there will be “difficult problems” in the future, including tariffs, especially whiskey. He was also open to accepting higher levels of migration from India to do a skilled job in the UK.

He said the FTA would allow Delhi to raise tariffs on British machinery, which in turn would allow Britain to raise tariffs on rice and textiles in India.

PA Media and Reuters contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan