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India Avoids Condemning Putin to Get Weapons for China Fight

  • Modi also wants to evacuate students, keep line open to Moscow
  • India counting on U.S. turning a blind eye on ties with Russia
An Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet.

An Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet.

Photographer: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

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India plans to avoid condemning Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as it needs Russian weapons in its standoff with China, and officials in New Delhi are confident the U.S. won’t apply much pressure, people familiar with the matter said. 

Moscow has been one of India’s biggest weapons suppliers since the Cold War, with more than half of India’s fighter jets and almost all of its tanks coming from the country. Russia also backed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hardline policies in the disputed region of Kashmir, which were widely criticized.