Washington. The US Defense Department ‘Pentagon’ has said that India is a ‘big example’ among countries that are choosing defense assistance from the US. Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder also said that the US is aware that some countries that buy Russian or Soviet-era weapons also want to maintain relations with Moscow. He said at a press conference in Washington on Tuesday, ‘There are many countries that are maintaining defense relations with Russia. Also, it is a sovereign decision for individual countries.
Ryder was asked if there were any concerns about the US sharing Russia’s information or technology shared with those countries. To this, he said, ‘Many of those countries have bought Russian-made or Soviet-era equipment in the past. For this reason, they can maintain any kind of relationship. From the point of view of defense cooperation, certainly from the US point of view, I think the defense assistance provided by the US is much more reliable in terms of induction of capabilities.
‘And it’s something that we continue to discuss with various partners and allies around the world…we certainly keep an eye if they choose to purchase these types of systems,’ Ryder said. India is a big example.
Defense trade between India and the US was almost negligible in 1997, today it is more than $20 billion. India has faced criticism from US Republican and Democrat lawmakers for abstaining from voting at the United Nations while refraining from condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
US officials have also expressed concern over India’s purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia. Despite strong objections from the US and warnings of sanctions from the Joe Biden administration, India has refused to budge on its decision and is going ahead with the purchase of the missile defense system.