Russia remains India’s largest arms supplier. According to a report, its share in Indian defence imports has fallen from 62% to 45% between 2017-2022.
France is at number two with 29 percent. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, America’s share is 11 percent. The researchers found that India is the world’s largest arms buyer, although its arms imports declined by 11 percent.
India wants to diversify in terms of purchasing arms and its focus is on increasing domestic production. Experts say that the decline in Russian imports is largely due to the search for new suppliers and encouragement of its local production.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute stated that Russia’s position as India’s main arms supplier was “under pressure due to strong competition from other supplier countries, driven by increased Indian arms production” and “the invasion of Ukraine by Russia”. Barriers to the export of arms”.
India’s dependence on Moscow for weapons 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 US, Japan, and Australia, the news agency pointed out.
India has supported calls for a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution to end Russia’s war, but has abstained at the United Nations on votes condemning Russia’s invasion. It has also continued its purchases of cheap Russian crude 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 weapons exports, increased defence equipment manufacturing in India, and increased competition from countries like France — that has seen its arms exports to New Delhi jump a whopping 489 per cent over the same period — leading to the drop in purchases from Moscow, the SIPRI report added.