WASHINGTON, DC: The US should help India address its defence needs so as to reduce its dependence on Russia, an influential Indian-American community leader has quoted a top Republican Senator as saying.
According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, since 2010, Russia has been the source of nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of all Indian arms imports and India has been the largest Russian arms importer, accounting for nearly one-third (32 percent) of all Russian arms exports.
The world order has changed since the Ukraine war, Dr. Sampat Shivangi, National President of Indian American Forum said on Wednesday after a breakfast meeting with Senator Roger Wicker, the top Republican Senator from Mississippi.
“Here is a great opportunity for India that Senator Roger Wicker who is a great friend of India can help India in providing the defence needs of the country and with better technologies than Russia even though Russia has been a steady partner of India,” said Shivangi.
With India being in a tough neighborhood, Russia will not be able to provide or be a major supplier to India as with its war with Ukraine it has lost an enormous amount of its war machinery and a Western ban on high tech imports. As a result, it will be tougher for Russia to provide its arms and technology to India, Shivangi said in a statement after his meeting with Wicker.
During Monday’s 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, India and the US have agreed to step up military-to-military cooperation.
As the Indian military emerges as a more jointly integrated force, the 2+2 Ministerial advanced initiatives that will allow the U.S. and Indian militaries to work more seamlessly together across all domains of potential conflict from the seas to cyberspace, the readout of the meeting said.
“The United States and India finalized major bilateral initiatives on information-sharing, liaison exchanges, and joint service engagements to support high-end combined operations,” it said.
Between 2016 and 2020, India accounted for nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of Russia’s total arms exports and Russia accounted for roughly half (49 percent) of Indian imports, the CRS report said.
Recently, Wicker introduced a bill in the Senate to cut the backlog of thousands of Indians who are waiting on their green cards for decades.
“He was gracious enough to introduce this bill at my request which was a great honor for me and many Indian Americans. He continues to fight for the cause of Indian Immigrants,” Shivangi said.
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