Germany and India want to expand their partnership in security, climate and economic policy and thus form a stronger counterweight to China. India has not only assumed the presidency of the G-20 group of leading industrialized and emerging countries, but also global responsibility, said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) on Monday at a meeting with Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi. In contrast to China, Germany and India have already had a long “partnership in values”.
Germany, the USA and other Western countries see the huge country with around 1.4 billion inhabitants as a political counterweight to China - and also as a business partner with great potential. Baerbock flattered the hosts on the first official visit, saying she felt "like visiting a good friend." China has changed a lot in recent years. That is why the exchange with its direct neighbors is so important.
With India as the most populous democracy, there is great potential - for example in standing up for international law, said the minister. However, the nuclear power does not support Western sanctions against Russia as a result of the war in Ukraine. India has abstained from UN resolutions on the war. According to a forecast by the United Nations, the South Asian country will overtake China as the most populous nation in the world as early as next year. India has chaired the G20 since December 1st.
Baerbock emphasized that India wanted to focus on climate protection. Last week, German-Indian projects for 2023 worth one billion euros were agreed. These should help India to switch to socially and ecologically sustainable energy sources for its large energy needs. Cooperation in security policy should also be strengthened.
When asked about Indian purchases of cheap oil from Russia, Foreign Minister Jaishankar said he understood the European perspective. But Europe's increased purchases in the Middle East are driving up prices in a market where India traditionally buys oil. He referred to data from the think tank Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA). Accordingly, on November 25, EU countries bought fossil fuels from Russia for 304 million euros, India for 60 million euros. The EU has tried to reduce oil purchases from Russia and called on other countries to do the same.