The European Union will conclude a trade agreement with India to reduce its ties with Russia

The European Union (EU) plans to restart trade talks with India in a bid to give the South Asian nation a viable alternative to diversify away from Russia, according to a senior official familiar with the plans.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is on a two-day visit to India.

In addition to trade, the EU will pursue a technology council with India that could include discussions on the General Data Protection Regulation, social media and broader digitization efforts, said the official, who asked Not to be identified as discussions are private.

Before embarking on his visit to India, the President of the European Commission said on Saturday that India and the 27 EU countries wanted to take their relations to the next level. Leyen will hold in-depth talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on stepping up bilateral engagement in the areas of trade, connectivity, energy, climate change and security.

Russia’s war against Ukraine as well as India-EU cooperation in the Indo-Pacific are also expected to feature in the discussions.

“I am leaving for New Delhi as we celebrate 60 years of EU-India relations. 60 years during which we have built a strong friendship. And a cooperation that we both now want to take to the next level Looking forward to my discussions with @narendramodi,” Leyen tweeted.

The EU is India’s third-largest trading partner and accounts for 62.8 billion euros ($67.8 billion) in trade in goods.

The EU and US are both trying to forge closer ties with India, which is the world’s biggest buyer of Russian weapons, which it says it uses to deter aggression from its Pakistani and Chinese neighbors. .

On the first day of her two-day visit to India, Leyen took part in an interaction on the campus of the Energy and Resources Institute called TERI Gram, where she affirmed the need to work together for a green future. , sustainable and equitable.

The EU president said young people are the advocates for fighting climate change, saving the planet and developing solutions.

Climate change and biodiversity loss are high on the political agenda of the European Union (EU) and India. Observing that young people should raise their voices for climate action, Leyen said, “Young people are the advocates in the fight against climate change as well as the fight for the planet. But they are also the ones who develop solutions. The event – ​​Youth for a Greener Future – was organized by TERI, in collaboration with the EU.

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