NEW DELHI — India’s army chief said Thursday the war in Ukraine has impacted the supply of spare parts for India’s military.
Gen. Manoj Pande made his comments to reporters while discussing the border situation with China, which he described as stable but unpredictable. The two countries remain in a nearly two-and-a-half-year standoff in the eastern Ladakh area. He added that the countries were continuing to talk both at the diplomatic and military levels, and that India’s military maintains a high level of preparedness.
“The sustenance of these weapons systems — equipment in terms of spares, in term of ammunition — is one issue that we have addressed,” Pande said, without providing more details.
“We have adequate forces. We have adequate reserves in each of our sectors to be able to effectively deal with any situation or contingency,” he added.
Experts say up to 60% of Indian defense equipment comes from Russia, and New Delhi finds itself in a bind amid the standoff with China over a territorial dispute. Twenty Indian troops and four Chinese soldiers died in a clash in 2020.
The Times of India newspaper reported Thursday that India is having problems transporting back one of its diesel-run submarines after a major refit in Russia, which was hit with sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.
India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometers (14,672 square miles) of its territory in the Aksai Chin plateau, which India considers part of Ladakh, where the current faceoff is happening.
India says any unilateral change in the border status quo by Beijing is unacceptable.
The Line of Actual Control separates Chinese- and Indian-held territories from Ladakh in the west to India’s eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims in its entirety. India and China fought a deadly war over the border in 1962.