Home/ News / India/  German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives in India, may ask PM Modi to mediate on Russia-Ukraine war

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz today arrived in New Delhi for a visit to India from February 25-26. Scholz is accompanied by senior officials and a high-powered business delegation, and his visit to India is the first standalone one by any German Chancellor since the commencement of the Inter-Governmental Consultation (IGC) mechanism between the two nations in 2011.

People familiar with the broad agenda of the Modi-Scholz talks said the consequences of the Russia-Ukraine conflict are expected to figure prominently during the deliberations. Scholz also plans to discuss Russia’s war on Ukraine with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a time when Europe and its allies are struggling to maintain economic pressure on the Kremlin and isolate President Vladimir Putin.

The two leaders are also expected to delve into the overall situation in the Indo-Pacific, a region that has witnessed growing Chinese assertiveness in the last few years.

"The India-Germany Strategic Partnership is underpinned by shared values, trust and mutual understanding. Robust investment and trade linkages, cooperation in the areas of green and sustainable development and growing people-to-people ties have strengthened bilateral relations," the MEA in the press release noted.

The MEA further stated that both nations also work closely at multilateral and international platforms, notably as part of the G4 for United Nations Security Council reforms.

India and Germany share a strong economic partnership. Germany is India's largest trade partner in the European Union and has consistently been among India's top 10 global trade partners. It is also one of the largest foreign direct investors in India.

The government in New Delhi has a long-standing dependence on Russian defense contractors and Germany wants to help it find alternative suppliers.

“The war in Ukraine has made both sides realize the need to explore opportunities and partnerships outside their traditional comfort zones and friends," said Swasti Rao, an associate fellow at the Europe and Eurasia Center at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses to Bloomberg.

“New Delhi is keen to deepen defense cooperation with Germany because it understands that Russia may no longer be able to meet its strategic needs," Rao said. “There is enormous scope for cooperation in this area between the two countries and I would be surprised if substantial progress is not achieved."

*With agency inputs

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Updated: 25 Feb 2023, 10:24 AM IST
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