Washington [US], April 6 (ANI): US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Tuesday that the United States expects India to cut back on purchases of Russian military equipment given that Washington does not believe such purchases are in New Delhi's best interest.
"We continue to work with to ensure that they understand... we believe it is not in (India's) best interests to continue to invest in Russian equipment," Austin told House Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing on the annual defence budget.
"Our requirement going forward is that they downscale the types of equipment that they are investing in and look to invest more in the types of things that will make us continue to be compatible," he said.
Austin made these remarks while responding to question posed by Congressman Joe Wilson.
This comment comes as India has refused to join the Western sanctions against Russia amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The Indian military uses several Russian-made weapons, including tanks, artillery guns and missile systems. New Delhi has also signed deals to purchase Russia's S-400 air defence system, which has been under threat of US sanctions under Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Aside from defence equipment, India has defended its right to secure better deals for its energy needs. New Delhi has pointed out Europe's growing purchases of petroleum products from Moscow despite the Ukraine war.
White House Press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said the United States believes that it's not in India's interest to increase Russian energy imports and other commodities.
This comes as Washington continues to mount pressure on countries around the world to shun cheaper Russian oil.
Responding to a question on India's import of Russian oil, Psaki said the US expects every country around the world should abide by the sanctions that we announced on Russia.
"Energy payments are not sanctioned. That's a decision made by each individual country, and we've been very clear that each country is going to make their own choices even as we have made the decision and other countries have made the decision to ban energy imports," Psaki said at a press briefing. (ANI)