According to an influential Indian-American community leader, the US should assist India in addressing its defence needs in order to lessen its reliance on Russia.
According to a research by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Russia has supplied nearly two-thirds (62%) of all Indian military purchases since 2010, and India has been Russia’s largest arms importer, accounting for roughly one-third (32%) of all Russian arms exports.
Dr. Sampat Shivangi, National President of the Indian American Forum, said following a brunch meeting with Senator Roger Wicker, the top Republican Senator from Mississippi, that the world order has shifted since the Ukraine war.
“This is a tremendous chance for India because Senator Roger Wicker, who is a great friend of India, can assist India in meeting its defence demands with better technologies than Russia, despite the fact that Russia has been a reliable partner of India,” Shivangi said.
Wicker, who is currently the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has advocated for close ties with India.
“This is an opportunity for India to invite Senator Wicker to India, who has shown an interest in meeting with India’s Defense Minister and Prime Minister face to face. Shivangi stated, “This can be done.”
Given India’s difficult surroundings, Russia will be unable to give or be a key supplier to India, having lost a large portion of its military machinery in the Ukraine conflict, as well as a Western restriction on high-tech imports. As a result, providing armaments and technology to India will be more difficult for Russia, Shivangi said in a statement following his meeting with Wicker.
India and the United States agreed to increase military-to-military cooperation during their 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on Monday.
The 2+2 Ministerial advanced efforts that will allow the US and Indian militaries to work more fluidly together across all domains of potential conflict—from the oceans to cyberspace—as the Indian military becomes more jointly integrated, according to the meeting’s report.
“To support high-end, combined operations, the United States and India finalised key bilateral agreements on information-sharing, liaison exchanges, and joint service engagements,” it stated.
According to the CRS research, India accounted for about a quarter (23%) of Russia’s total arms exports between 2016 and 2020, while Russia accounted for roughly half (49%) of Indian imports.
Wicker recently introduced a bill in the Senate to reduce the backlog of thousands of Indians who have been waiting decades for their green cards.
“At my request, he graciously introduced this bill, which was a huge honour for me and many Indian Americans.” Shivangi remarked, “He continues to fight for the cause of Indian immigrants.”