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Not in India's Interest to Invest in Russian Military Equipment: US Defence Secy

Congressman Wilson said that it was "gruesome" that India was choosing Russian weapons instead of American.

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US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday, 5 April, told lawmakers that it is not in India's best interest to continue to invest in Russian military equipment, reported news agency PTI.

Addressing the members of the House Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing on the annual defence budget, Austin said that the US is working with India to ensure that they understand this.

"And our requirement going forward is that they downscale the types of equipment that they're investing in and look to invest more in the types of things that will make us continue to be compatible," Austin said.

Austin's answer came in response to a question by Congressman Joe Wilson, who commented on India's position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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Calling India US' "treasured ally", Wilson said that it was "gruesome" that the nation was choosing Russian weapons instead of American, reported PTI.

In answer to Wilson's question about what incentive the US could provide that would convince India to switch from Russian weapons, Austin said that as a possessor of the finest, most advanced weapons systems in the world, US had a range of options to offer India.

'Not in India's Interest to Increase Russian Energy Imports': White House

This comes a day after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said that the United States believes that it would not be in India's interest to accelerate its Russian imports of energy and other commodities.

US Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh, while on a recent visit to Delhi, had warned of consequences to countries that actively attempt to circumvent or backfill the sanctions imposed on Russia by the West.

"What Daleep did make clear to his counterparts during this visit was that we don’t believe it’s in India’s interest to accelerate or increase imports of Russian energy and other commodities," said Psaki on Monday, when asked about Singh's warning.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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