On Monday, the meeting between the Indian leadership and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen will discuss counterbalancing China’s belligerent moves and Beijing’s model of economic expansionism in the Indo-Pacific region.
Von der Leyen will discuss the threat to Europe from Russia posed by the Ukraine conflict, while India will seek a broader commitment from the EU to make the Indo-Pacific more inclusive. New Delhi aims to expand the EU’s footprint in the Indo-Pacific region.
She made it clear that the EU’s tense relations with Russia and its attempts to reduce its energy dependence would be among her talking points on Monday. At the International Solar Alliance, she said, “Russian war on Ukraine is a stark reminder to us Europeans to reduce dependency on Russian fossil fuels”. Meanwhile, India neither condemns the war nor supports the West-backed resolutions in the UN against Russia.
India and the EU, however, have more in common over China’s aggression and the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative in Europe. With China’s inroads into Europe reaching a peak in 2020, many European countries have adopted a cautious approach towards Beijing since the pandemic hit. The EU launched its Indo-Pacific strategy against this backdrop and sought to collaborate with India including in the connectivity sector.