New Delhi has long walked a tightrope in its relations with the West and Moscow — which supplies most of India’s arms — and Russia‘s invasion of its neighbour has highlighted the difficulty of the balancing act.
Von der Leyen’s itinerary began with an address to a youth forum on climate change, where she praised India for its “ambitious” target of meeting half of its energy demands from renewable sources by 2030.
She meets with Modi on Monday as the latest in a stream of recent diplomatic visitors seeking to lure India away from Russia with pledges of security, defence and energy cooperation.
Ukraine was on the agenda when Modi hosted his British counterpart Boris Johnson this week, in a trip that culminated in the announcement of a new defence and security partnership.
Johnson’s visit followed telephone talks with US President Joe Biden on the invasion last week.