British Indian cooperation on land, sea, air, space and the internet

Johnson describes the relationship between London and New Delhi as a ‘beacon in stormy seas’

In light of the current global geopolitical situation, during his two-day visit to India, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson not only focused on strengthening mutual economic and defense relations, but also targeted China and Russia as “autocratic countries”. “. located next to countries that enjoy freedom and openness In the Indo-Pacific regions.

Johnson’s first visit to India as prime minister came at a time of heightened tensions between Britain and Moscow, to the point that the Russian Foreign Ministry has imposed a ban on Johnson and his senior cabinet colleagues because of their anti-Russian hysteria. while the United Kingdom imposed unprecedented sanctions on the Kremlin.

India’s neutral stance on Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine came amid Western mobilization against Russia, but Johnson did not give him “advice” on the need to take a tougher stance.

“He certainly explained the UK’s position and listened to the Indian position, but he was not strict with the West’s position,” an Indian official said.

Interestingly, Johnson said after meeting Modi that “India’s position on Russia is well known and will not change. “India has a historic relationship with Russia and everyone respects that.”

The relationship between India and the UK developed into a comprehensive strategic partnership during the Modi and Johnson virtual summit in 2021, and the two parties also adopted a 10-year roadmap on trade, investment, defense and security relations , to expand climate change. , health care as well as people-to-people ties.

India’s Defense Technology

The two parties have signed a defense treaty in an effort to help India wean from its dependence on Russia by expanding economic and defense ties. “We have agreed on a new and expanded defense and security partnership, a decades-old commitment that will not only forge stronger ties between us, but also support your Made in India goal,” Johnson said, referring to to Modi’s goal to build. fighter jets.

“In an effort to deepen defense co-operation, the UK will provide support for new Indian designed and manufactured fighter jets, which offer the best UK technology,” Johnson added. He explained that the UK would also seek to support India’s requirements for new technologies to identify and respond to threats in the Indian Ocean. India is highly dependent on Russia for its arms imports, with Moscow responsible for nearly 50 percent of foreign weapons supplied to New Delhi between 2016-2020.

The two sides also discussed the strategy of the Indo-Pacific and exchanged views on the technology of fighter jets and helicopters, and the so-called “submarine battlefield.”

– “Free Trade Agreement”

Given that the UK has placed India at the center of its post-Brexit foreign policy, and because the visit focused on the long-term possibilities that emerge against the background of pandemic-related co-operation around vaccine production and the return of violent conflict to Europe , India and the UK are expected to formalize the process. Free Trade Agreement by October.

According to author Nayanema Basu, “the agreement with India is expected to boost total trade by up to £ 28 billion annually by 2035. It provides opportunities for UK companies in areas such as technology and environmental services, creating high-paying jobs and providing high-compensation skills. Investment by Indian companies supports 95,000 jobs across the UK, which is expected to be strengthened by upcoming announcements and a future free trade agreement. That is why Johnson, with his arrival in India, went straight to Ahmedabad to meet the business community there. ” “As the next round of talks begins next week, we are asking our negotiators to get it on Diwali, which could double our trade and investment by the end of the decade,” Johnson said after meeting Modi in New Delhi.

Facilitation of visa procedures

Boris Johnson opened the door for an offer on immigration to bring about a trade agreement with India. He hinted that the UK could make a visa offer as part of a future “free trade agreement” with New Delhi.

Asked if immigration could be part of the Free Trade Agreement, Johnson said: “As far as immigration is concerned, I have always been in favor of people entering this country … We have a massive shortage in the UK, not least “We need thousands of experts in the field of Information Technology and programmers. We need thousands of those in our economy.”

The UK will also issue an “open public export license” to support greater defense and security cooperation in the next decade. Such a license would reduce bureaucratic interference and shorten the delivery time of Indian defense procurement. This is the first British license in the Indo-Pacific region.

Johnson further said that they discussed the next phase of defense and security cooperation across five areas – land, sea, air, space and the internet. “We have agreed to work together to address new threats over land, sea, air, space and the Internet, including partnerships on new fighter jets and maritime technologies to detect and respond to threats in the oceans,” he said. he added.

In an indirect reference to Russia and China, Johnson said: “The world is facing increasing threats from authoritarian states that seek to undermine democracy, stifle free and fair trade and thwart sovereignty.”

The issue of Afghanistan was also in the center of attention, as the two parties “reaffirmed support for Afghanistan to remain a peaceful, stable and secure state with an inclusive government and the representation of all the people.”

The Indian Prime Minister emphasized that “it is essential that Afghan soil not be used to spread terrorism in other countries.”

Johnson described the relationship between India and the United Kingdom as “a beacon in stormy seas”.

Johnson, delighted with his warm welcome in India, said he feels like cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, or superstar Amitabh Bachchan, and describes Modi as a good friend.

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