Russia: Russia remains India’s largest arms supplier, but imports are down sharply

Russia remains India’s top arms source even as the nation has sharply cut back on purchases, highlighting the challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to recalibrate New Delhi’s dependence on Moscow, while its borders with China and Pakistan remain tense .
Russian arms imports fell 19 percent for the five-year period starting in 2018 compared to a similar time period earlier, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, an independent think tank that studies conflict, sales of arms and disarmament.

“Russia was India’s largest arms supplier in both 2013-17 and 2018-22, but its share of India’s total arms imports dropped from 64% to 45%,” according to the latest published report. Monday.
India’s dependence on Moscow for arms is one of the factors behind New Delhi’s neutral stance on Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, despite pressure from countries such as the United States, Japan and Australia. India supported calls for a ceasefire and diplomatic solution to end Russia’s war, but abstained at the United Nations on votes condemning Russia’s invasion. He also continued to buy cheap Russian oil.

India has been the world’s largest arms importer since 1993 and “tensions with Pakistan and China largely drive its demand for arms imports,” the report added.
Sanctions on Russia, affecting arms exports, increased production of defense equipment in India and increased competition from countries like France – which has seen its arms exports to New Delhi rise by a whopping 489% in the same period – leading to the decline in purchases from Moscow, the SIPRI report added.
Paris overtook the United States to become India’s second-largest arms supplier in 2018-22.


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