India’s dependence on Russian defence tools and the sturdy defence ties with Moscow just isn’t as a result of New Delhi didn’t strategy the US to get these from the United States, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar mentioned on Sunday.
“One of the changes in our relationships has actually been the defence cooperation which has really come about in this current form maybe the last 15 years,” Mr Jaishankar advised Indian Americans in Washington throughout an interactive dialogue with him organised by the US India Friendship Council and Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies.
“From 1965 pretty much for the next 40 years, there was no US defence equipment to India. This was, in fact, a period when the India Soviet, India Russia relationship became very strong,” he mentioned.
“This was not due to a lack of trying on India’s part. I can vouch for it myself. I’ve had my relatives, my father, my grandfather – they worked with the defence ministry. So, I know firsthand what great efforts were made over those years to try to make the US understand that it was in the American interest to have a strong, united, independent, prosperous India,” Mr Jaishankar mentioned.
“At that time, they did not succeed, maybe the state of the world was such,” he famous. “The change that started was really triggered by the nuclear deal that removed a very big obstacle to go forward and then to actually take the relationship to a new level requires leadership in India,” that didn’t had reservations.
“It takes two hands to clap. It was not just that all the problems are on the American side, they were visitations on the Indian side as well,” he mentioned.
“So we also have to address the institutions on our side. I think today, the relationship is on a very different footing. We have the possibility of working together in many more areas, especially the security domain. Some of our major exercises are with the American military. We fly a number of American planes today, the C 17,” the minister mentioned.
Very bullish on the way forward for the India-US relationship, he mentioned: “I think there are really deep convergences, which will sustain it over many, many years.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)