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defence cooperation: “Western countries have long preferred to supply Pakistan, not India”: EAM Jaishankar reasserts defence cooperation with Russia

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The External Affairs Minister on Tuesday reaffirmed defence and trade cooperation with Russia and said that many Western countries used to supply arms to Pakistan and not India, adding that the trend has changed in the past decade.

“In terms of inventory, yes, because many Western countries have long preferred to supply Pakistan and not India. But that has changed in the past ten or fifteen years with the USA, for example, and our new purchases have diversified with the USA, Russia, France and Israel as the main suppliers,” he said.

In an interview with a leading German economic daily, Handelsblatt during his visit to the Munich Security Conference in Germany, EAM Jaishankar highlighted the infrastructural imbalance of supply chains in the world and said that the world’s economic model is unstable and unfair.

“The world has created an economic model that is unstable and unfair. In the name of globalization, we have seen over-concentration in the world. Production has been shifted to a limited number of countries. The economies of many countries have been hollowed out,” EAM Jaishankar said.

“Many countries depend on others for very basic things – and we notice this immediately when we have disruptions like COVID, like the climate or the problems in the Red Sea at the moment. The problem is so profound that it’s not so easy to say: “Let’s do these three or four things – and things will be fine again,” he added.

He said further, “The global order is currently facing multiple kinds of stress. Due to shocks like Covid, the war in Ukraine, the war in Gaza, the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan and disruptive climate events that are happening more and more frequently. That is our challenge. However, it is not just about strengthening the international order, but also about changing this order. Who shapes it and on what basis? The international order must evolve further.”India and Russia have maintained a robust strategic partnership, rooted in historical ties and shared interests, over decades. Central to this relationship is extensive defence cooperation, with Russia serving as a major supplier of military equipment to India and both nations engaging in joint military exercises, co-development of advanced military platforms, and technology transfers, according to the Russian news agency.More recently, energy collaboration has become another strong pillar of bilateral ties. The Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KNPP), India’s largest, is being built in Tamil Nadu with technical assistance provided by Moscow.

Russia’s expertise in nuclear technology has been instrumental in advancing India’s capabilities, fostering a mutually beneficial partnership, according to RT. The two countries have pledged to deepen their nuclear cooperation, recognizing its strategic importance for energy security and technological advancement.

Over the past 18 months, India has emerged as one of the largest importers of Russian oil–a stand New Delhi has had to defend on many occasions from accusations by Western media, and even some political leaders, of funding ‘Russia’s war’ with Ukraine.

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