India has a substantial inventory of weapons of Soviet and Russian origin because Western countries have opted for a military dictatorship in the region as their preferred partner and have not supplied arms to New Delhi for decades. , External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Monday, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.
At a joint press conference with his Australian counterpart Penny Wong in Canberra, Mr Jaishankar also said that India and Russia have a long-standing relationship which has certainly served New Delhi’s interests well.
“We have a substantial inventory of weapons of Soviet and Russian origin. And that inventory has actually grown for a variety of reasons. You know, the merits of the weapon systems themselves, but also because over several decades the Western countries did not supply arms to India, and in fact considered a military dictatorship next to us as the preferred partner,” Jaishankar said, apparently referring to Pakistan, which was a close ally. of the US-led West during the Cold War.
Pakistan has been ruled by army generals for more than half of its 73 years of existence.
“All of us in international politics deal with what we have, we make judgments, judgments that reflect both our future interests and our current situation. And my feeling is, with regard to this current conflict, like any military conflict, there are lessons to be learned from it, and I am sure that my very professional colleagues in the army will study it very carefully,” Mr Jaishankar said.
An Australian journalist asked him if India should reduce its dependence on Russian weapons systems and rethink its relationship with Russia, given what is happening in Ukraine.
Last month, Mr Jaishankar, in a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said India is exercising a choice it believes to be in its national interest when offered weapons.
Russia has been a major supplier of military equipment to India. The two countries have been having discussions about what kind of payment mechanisms might work between them given Western sanctions against Moscow.
Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov said last month that Russia had delivered its S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile defense system to India on time despite pressure from Washington and US sanctions. the US-led West.
The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defense system. The missile system based on the “Triumf” interceptor can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges up to 400 km.
Russia began delivery of the first missile regiment in December last year.
The missile system has already been deployed in such a way that it can cover parts of the border with China in the northern sector as well as the border with Pakistan.
In October 2018, India signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defense missile systems, despite the then Trump administration’s warning that the continuation of the contract could trigger US sanctions under CAATSA.
Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA is a tough US law that authorizes the administration to impose sanctions on countries that purchase major defense equipment from Russia in response to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and his alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.
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