US to grant India $500 million in military help to reduce India’s reliance on Russia- Sources

19 May, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

Despite India's reluctance to criticise Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the campaign is part of President Joe Biden's administration's bigger push to court India as a long-term security ally.

According to those acquainted with the situation, the US is drafting a military aid package for India in order to strengthen security ties and lessen the country’s reliance on Russian weapons.

According to one source, the package under consideration would include foreign military financing of up to $500 million, making India one of the largest receivers of such aid after Israel and Egypt. When the deal will be revealed and what weaponry will be included are unknown.

According to a senior US source who did not want to be identified, the attempt is part of a bigger campaign by President Joe Biden’s administration to woo India as a long-term security partner, despite India’s reluctance to criticise Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

The administration is working with other countries, particularly France, to ensure Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has the technology it requires, according to the person. While India is already diversifying its military platforms away from Russia, the person stated that the US wants to help speed up the process.

The key problem, according to the official, is supplying India with important platforms such as fighter jets, naval ships, and combat tanks, and the administration is seeking for a breakthrough in one of these areas. The proposed finance package would do little to reduce the cost of such systems, which can run into the billions or tens of billions of dollars, but it would be a big symbolic gesture of support.

A request for response from India’s Foreign Ministry was not immediately returned. A request for comment from the State Department and the US Embassy in New Delhi was not immediately returned.