India has rejected calls to join the sanctions program against Russia during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to New Delhi on Aug. 1, according to various media reports.
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has maintained that foreign policy will not change with the new government while Kerry added that Washington “will obviously welcome India joining in with respect to [sanctions], but its India’s choice.”
A clear blow to the effort, India remains Russia’s largest consumer of military equipment and is reportedly in talks with Rosoboronexport to lease two Amur-class submarines to the Indian Navy on a fast-track basis.
The Amur class submarine is among Russia’s latest developments and is the export version of the Lada class submarines, an improved version of the more advanced Kilo-class submarines, with much less noise, new combat systems and propulsion without additional air.
According to reports, India and Russia have accelerated their defense cooperation with talks on projects such as a fifth generation fighter aircraft, an Indo-Russian joint project, are being hastened.
The Indian Air Force is also expected to order more than 200 of the twin-engine aircraft, based on Sukhoi’s T-50 PAK FA designs, although the India government has criticized Russia about New Delhi’s level of participation in the project.