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India will receive two military ships from Russia despite sanctions - Bloomberg

India will receive two military ships from Russia despite sanctions - Bloomberg File photo: India to receive two warships from Russia (Getty Images)

India is set to receive two military ships from Russia in the coming months, despite Washington's sanctions against Moscow, informs Bloomberg.

"One ship is likely to be handed to the Indians in September, with another being delivered early next year," the source writes.

The delivery of the ships is delayed by two years due to the war in Ukraine. The two frigates are part of a four-ship deal that India signed with Russia back in 2018. The other two ships are being built in India in collaboration with Russia but are also behind schedule due to supply chain issues.

The frigates with stealth features were supposed to use Ukrainian-made gas turbines. Trade between Ukraine and Russia halted in 2014, so India was buying them through a third country.

India and Russia seek ways to circumvent sanctions

US sanctions against Russia for its war in Ukraine halted arms supplies to India for over a year. The countries sought to find a payment mechanism that would not violate international restrictions.

"India and Russia, also strategic partners, have been able to work around the payments issue," Bloomberg reports.

India pays Russia for arms in rupees, but uses a mix of currencies such as UAE dirhams and US dollars to pay for crude oil.

Trade in weapons between Russia and India

The agency notes that the US largely refrains from punishing India for its relations with Russia, particularly abstaining from fines for its advanced air defense system.

Despite purchasing a larger quantity of weapons from the US and France, as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's program to manufacture military equipment domestically, Russia remains the largest supplier of military equipment to India.

Relations between India and Russia against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Indian government has stated its neutral position regarding the war. Publicly, India has neither condemned Russia's aggression nor supported it.

According to reports, India has intensified trade with Russia during the war, particularly in the oil sector, amidst Western sanctions against Moscow.

In January, Reuters reported that India wanted to move away from Russian arms and distance itself from Moscow. However, New Delhi is concerned that this may push Moscow closer to Beijing.

Recently, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned India about "red lines" regarding financing Russia's war machine.

Additionally, Bloomberg reported that several supertankers carrying Russian oil Sokol are heading towards India, even though the country had previously refused to purchase the raw material due to the threat of sanctions.