Australia says it didn’t betray Ukraine with new trade deal — RT World News

Canberra’s deal with New Delhi, endorsed by Scott Morrison, comes despite India’s refusal to denounce Russia

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended a recently signed trade deal with India. Morrison said the decision to foster relations with a country that has refused to speak out against Russia’s military campaign against Ukraine does not undermine Canberra’s support for Kyiv.

The Australia-India Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement was signed by Australia’s Trade Minister Dan Tehan and India’s Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday afternoon during a a virtual ceremony in the presence of the Prime Ministers of the two countries, Morrison and Narendra Modi. .

The deal, among other things, reduces tariffs on a range of Australian exports to India, including coal, lentils, lobsters and rare earths. The Morrison government hailed the deal as an important step in diversifying Australia’s export markets and reducing its dependence on China.

The signing of the agreement comes less than 24 hours after the Indian Prime Minister received Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in New Delhi. India has so far refused to unequivocally condemn Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine, opting simply to call for an end to the violence. In early March, New Delhi abstained from a UN resolution condemning the “aggression.A few weeks later, however, on March 24, India also abstained on a UN resolution proposed by Russia.

Commenting on the Australia-India deal in Tasmania on Saturday, Morrison insisted that the newly signed document “is a good deal in the interests of Australia and India,“adding that he didn’t think”anyone can question Australia’s commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine.

The trade agreement will be “open one of the greatest economic doors that can open in the world today,“said the Prime Minister. According to Morrison, closer ties will allow Canberra and New Delhi to discuss various this relationship, respectfully.

On Wednesday, Trade Minister Tehan, who signed the India deal days later, reminded New Delhi of the importance of democracies working together.maintain the rules-based approach that we have had since the Second World War.His statement echoes that of US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo made the same day, with Washington and Canberra expressing concern over India’s willingness to trade with Russia in their own national currencies – whatever something the West sees as a ploy by Moscow to circumvent the sanctions imposed on it over the past month.

Australia is among many countries that have imposed punitive measures on Russia for its military campaign against Ukraine. On top of that, Canberra recently agreed to supply kyiv with armored vehicles and other equipment.

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