The UK expressed disappointment on Thursday over India’s unwillingness to join the international community in condemning the Russian government for launching its military assault on Ukraine.
The British trade minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, told reporters that the UK is “very disappointed” by the approach taken by its “Indian partners,” expressing “hope that their views will change.”
Despite the critical comments from the UK minister, she told reports that, regardless of India’s position, the South Asian nation is “an incredibly important trading partner for the UK.”
India has, so far, avoided joining other members of the international community in condemning the Ukraine conflict, saying it maintains a neutral position. India, together with China and several other states, abstained during a vote in the UN on Russia’s military operation.
The South Asian nation has a strong trading relationship with Russia, receiving arms from Moscow in previous agreements between the two sides. As Russia was hit by economic sanctions globally, India, which until now bought only 3% of its oil imports from Russia, has been eager to boost purchases
The UK has been engaged in talks with India to agree on a post-Brexit free trade deal, with the second round of negotiations expected to finish on Friday and discussions set to conclude within the year.