India’s dependence on Russian military hardware does not serve Germany’s long-term interest, Berlin’s Defence Minister Boris Pistorius on June 5, ahead of his four-day India visit. The visit to India is part of Mr. Pistorius’ journey to South and Southeast Asia, where he held discussions with his Indonesian and Singaporean counterparts. He indicated that the India leg of his visit will include a discussion on delivering German submarines to India.
“This is an issue we have to solve jointly with other partners. But of course, we can’t have an interest in the long run that India is so dependent on Russia’s delivery of weapons or other materials,” Mr. Pistorius said in an interview to German news outlet DW. During his stay, Mr. Pistorius is expected to meet with defence start-ups and participate in the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDex) programme here.
The details of the visit are under wraps but it is understood that the two sides will discuss India’s requirement for German submarines. “I want to send a signal that we are willing to support our partners, our reliable partners like Indonesia, like India,” Mr. Pistorius said, adding, “And that includes, for example, the possibility of delivering submarines.”
After his engagements in Delhi, Mr. Pistorius is scheduled to visit Mumbai.
The Russian dominance of India’s defence market has been an issue for Western arms majors for several decades. However, India-Russia trade has deepened to an unprecedented level since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, with Russia emerging as a major supplier of crude oil to India. Mr. Pistorius’ visit is a continuation of the India-Germany discussion that was rebooted in February with the visit of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.