Warships Built in Russia to Join Indian Navy Despite U.S Sanctions

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India will receive two warships built in Russia in the coming months as the two nations try to handle the U.S. sanctions, which is making it difficult to pay for the Russian weapons, per Indian Officials who requested not to be named given the sensitivity of the issue.

One ship will be delivered to India in September and another at the beginning of 2025. Their delivery is two years behind the original schedule. The delays are due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has caused supply chain disruptions.

These frigates are part of a four-ship agreement signed between the two countries in 2018. The other two ships of the deal are being constructed in India with the help of Russia, but they, too, face delays for the same reason cited above.

According to officials, the guided-missile frigates had to be fitted with Ukraine-made gas turbines. However, after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and trade halted between Ukraine and Russia, India had to procure the turbines by involving a third country.

The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Russia for its war on Ukraine, which created weapon delivery issues for India. India struggles to find a payment solution that does not violate U.S. sanctions.

India decided to pay in Rupees but uses a mixture of currencies, including UAE Dirhams and U.S. Dollars, for Russian crude oil since it is the biggest buyer of Moscow’s seaborne oil.

The arrangement ran into trouble as payments worth billions of dollars accumulated in India, and India refused to pay them in Chinese currency due to its tense relations with Beijing.

The U.S. has not penalised New Delhi for its trade with Moscow as it supports India amidst increasing competition from China.

Though India has purchased weapons from the United States and France, its program to construct military hardware indigenously has led Russia to become its largest military hardware supplier.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Moscow accounts for around 36% of India’s arms imports.

References: Bloomberg, Economic Times

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