The US is seeking to make the most of the newly imposed export sanctions against Russia to boost military equipment sales to allied nations, particularly India.
Speaking before the Senate, assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs Donald Lu opened up about the idea of luring New Delhi away from Russian weapons, which it has been relying on for many years.
He stated that the sanctions will cause severe problems for Moscow’s customers in securing reliable military supplies, thus providing an opportunity for the US and other countries to export advanced military technology.
Lu pointed out that the international restriction on Russia’s financial sector will likely affect the ability to continue purchasing Russian defense equipment.
“If you don’t have a banking system, it’s very hard for other countries to pay millions of dollars in rubles or in yen or in euros to pay for these defense systems,” he explained, as quoted by The National. “Many countries that have these legacy Russian systems will be worried.”
Lu disclosed that India has already canceled major defense imports from Russia over the past few weeks, including orders for MiG-29 fighter jets.
Abstention From Condemning Russia
Earlier this week, India abstained on a UN General Assembly resolution deploring Russia’s aggressive “military operation” that has killed and wounded thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.
Several US Senators expressed their disappointment with India, with Democrat Chris Murphy stating that he and his colleagues were puzzled by India’s equivocation amid the “biggest threat to democracy since World War II.”
However, the lawmakers said they recognized the importance of maintaining a partnership with a robust Indian military, which serves as a bulwark against China.
“We hope that India soon will get on the right side of history,” Murphy stressed.
Sanctions on Russia
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that his country is imposing the “largest and most severe” set of sanctions that Russia has ever seen.
The sanctions include strict control of commercial and military exports to Russia, preventing UK citizens from making financial transactions with Russian banks, and banning Russian ships from UK ports.
US President Joe Biden has also joined nations in imposing severe consequences against Russia for invading Ukraine. These include banning all US transactions with Russian banks, blocking the country from making any transactions in US dollars, and prohibiting Russian planes from entering US airspace.