US defense secretary Austin Lloyd said they expect India to do less with Russian military equipment and other imports. Furthermore, he said it’s not in the best interest of India to invest more in Russian equipment. US will continue to work with India to ensure that they understand that it’s not in India’s best of interests to continue investing there. Austin was talking in the House Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing on the annual defense budget.
“And our requirement going forward is that they downscale the types of equipment that they’re investing in and look to invest more in the types of things that will make us continue to be compatible,” Austin said.
Congressman Joe Wilson criticized India’s position on Russia in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. He said, “Gruesomely, our treasured ally India, the largest democracy in the world, is aligning with Russia by choosing weapons systems over American and allied options. The Defense Secretary was answering a question in the house when this criticism came up against India’s stand.
“What weapons platforms could we offer through the foreign military sales program that would incentivize rush — Indian leaders to reject Putin and align with its natural allies of democracy?” he asked.
“I look forward to you continuing to work with the great people of India. And what a great ally they can be if we eliminate some of the restrictions on sales,” Wilson said.
US’s concern over India’s dependence on Russian military equipment comes and New Delhi has made it clear that it will continue to buy cheap Russian oil. White House Press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said the United States believes that it’s not in India’s interest to increase Russian energy imports and other commodities.
The Indian military uses several Russian-made weapons, including tanks, artillery guns and missile systems. India has also signed deals to purchase Russia’s S-400 air defense system, which has been under threat of US sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.