Berlin’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on June 5 ahead of his four-day visit to India that India’s dependence on Russian military hardware does not serve Germany’s long-term interest. The visit to India is part of Pistorius’ trip to South and Southeast Asia, where he held talks with his Indonesian and Singaporean counterparts. He indicated that the Indian leg of his visit would also include a discussion on handing over German submarines to India.
“This is an issue that we need to address jointly with other stakeholders. But in the long term we would not be interested in India depending on the supply of arms or other materials by Russia,” Pistorius said in an interview with a German news agency. DW. During his stay, Mr Pistorius is expected to meet with defense start-ups and participate in the Innovations for Defense Excellence (IDEX) programme.
The details of the visit are under wraps, but it is understood that the two sides will discuss India’s need for German submarines. “I want to send a signal to our partners, to our reliable partners like India and Indonesia,” Mr. Pistorius said, “and that includes the possibility of delivering submarines, for example.”
After the engagement in Delhi, Pistorius will visit Mumbai.
Russian dominance of India’s defense market has been a problem for Western arms manufacturers for several decades. However, India-Russia trade has deepened to unprecedented levels since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, with Russia emerging as a major supplier of crude oil to India. Pistorius’ visit is a continuation of the India-Germany talks that were rebooted with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit in February.