Business & Economy

India widens defense import restrictions

New Delhi, Apr 7 (EFE).- India on Thursday unveiled a new list import restrictions on more than 100 defense equipment, a move through which it looks to reduce its dependence on countries like Russia.

India’s reliance on Russia especially in the defense sector has caused a point of friction with the United States regarding sanctions in the context of the invasion of Ukraine.

“Today, I feel happy to present to the nation the third positive indigenisation list of over 101 defense equipment and platforms. It shows the pace with which we are getting self-reliant in the defense sector,” Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said in a public ceremony.

He added that the objective was to make India into a center of defense production.

The Asian country will procure these products, including ammunition, missiles and military vehicles, only from indigenous producers, and after December 2025 their import will be prohibited.

The defense ministry said in a statement that it plans to spend more than $28 billion over the next few years on items on the recently mentioned list alone, the third since India’s launched its “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” self-sufficiency goal in 2020.

“Over 300 sophisticated items will be covered, ranging from complex weapon systems to critical platforms such as Armoured vehicles, combat aircraft, submarines etc.,” the statement said.

In this manner, India seeks to stimulate the domestic arms sector and reduce its dependence on imports from third countries.

The Asian country is one of the world’s leading arms importers, and sources between 60-70 percent of its weapons equipment from Russia.

This dependence is believed to be the main reason behind India’s abstention in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly, although New Delhi claims to have adopted a neutral stance.

India’s stand has annoyed countries such as the United States, which has been threatening India with sanctions for years over the acquisition of Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missiles.

For years, India has been in an arms race with neighboring Pakistan, which also possesses nuclear weapons and is its main rival in the Indian subcontinent, while the Indian military command also keeps an eye on China. EFE


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