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A recent report in the Financial Times reveals that Brussels is proposing sanctions against three Chinese companies and one Indian business as part of its latest efforts to disrupt Russia’s military operations.

If approved by member states, this would mark the first instance of mainland Chinese and Indian businesses being targeted by EU sanctions. The potential imposition of sanctions on an Indian company carries significant sensitivity, given India’s status as a key ally of the United States and its ongoing negotiations for a trade deal with the EU. In response to criticism surrounding its procurement of discounted Russian oil, which is under sanctions, and subsequent export of refined products to the EU, New Delhi has defended its actions as legally compliant.

The Indian government is expected to address these concerns and seek clarity during a series of meetings with senior EU officials in Delhi next week, coinciding with the Raisina Dialogue, India’s premier foreign policy forum.

The backdrop of negotiations for a trade deal between India and the EU underscores the complexity of the situation, necessitating careful diplomatic navigation to manage potential tensions and foster mutual understanding.

As India balances its strategic interests, economic imperatives, and commitment to international norms, the resolution of these issues will require constructive dialogue and collaboration among all stakeholders. The forthcoming discussions at the Raisina Dialogue offer an important opportunity to address concerns, build trust, and explore avenues for mutually beneficial cooperation.