India reacts to US nudge to cut down on arms from Russia
India’s independent foreign policy and national security interests guide its decisions on defence acquisitions, the government said on Friday, responding to the outgoing American Ambassador Kenneth Juster’s statement that tacitly suggested that New Delhi should choose the United States over Russia as the primary source of its military hardware.
“India has always pursued an independent foreign policy. This also applies to our defence acquisitions and supplies which are guided by our national security interests,” Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), told journalists.
He was responding to a query on New Delhi’s view on the recent statement of the outgoing envoy of the United States to India. Juster on Tuesday stated that India might like to keep its options open for procuring military hardware, but it would ultimately have to make its choices.
He indicated that the United States might not have any plan to immediately impose restrictions mandated by the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on India for buying S-400 missile defence systems from Russia. He, however, added that it might not be optimal for India to source its military hardware from a range of suppliers from different countries, given the prevailing strategic landscape.
“India and the US have a comprehensive global strategic partnership,” the MEA spokesperson said on Friday, adding: “India has a special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia.”
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