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Challenges in Rationalizing Defence Attaché Numbers in Indian Missions

As India expands its defence diplomacy, the decision to rationalize Defence Attaché (DA) numbers in Indian missions, particularly in Moscow and the U.K., has raised concerns among experts and veteran diplomats. Ambassador D.B. Venkatesh Varma highlighted the unique complexities of India-Russia defence relations, emphasizing the critical role DAs play in managing supply chain linkages with numerous Russian OEMs.

The reduction in DA numbers, especially in Moscow, where defence ties involve extensive servicing and repairing of Russian-origin equipment, could have functional consequences for India’s defence preparedness. With nearly $3 billion annual trade in defence spare parts alone, maintaining smooth supply chains is imperative. While political factors may be at play, experts caution that any reduction should be considered cautiously to avoid negative repercussions on India’s strategic interests.