“Both sides agreed that the rapid changes in the geopolitical environment highlight the need for a common and in-depth strategic commitment,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement. The agreement will allow the two parties to coordinate technical work and reporting at the political level as well.
According to a source familiar with the matter, the EU initiative is part of a wide-ranging strategic shift that will speed up trade negotiations between the group and India. This will provide the EU with a viable alternative for India to reduce its trade dependence on Russia, the source added.
Von der Leyen will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday to discuss details. The European Union is also India’s third largest trading partner, trading in goods worth around €62.8 billion.
The European Union and the United States are working to renew diplomatic and trade relations with India, Russia’s largest arms buyer. The country’s leadership says it needs weapons to be able to fend off attacks from neighboring Pakistan and China if necessary.
Cover image source: EU / Christophe Licoppe, European Commission Media Library
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