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Conflict in Ukraine highlights risks of Asian countries' continuing reliance on Russia

According to Janes data, India is Russia's biggest defence customer in the Asia-Pacific. (Janes Markets Forecast)

Countries across the Asia-Pacific region are bracing themselves for shortages of defence supplies and equipment following the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The region is regularly cited by Moscow and Kyiv as a priority defence market, indicating the relatively high profile that both suppliers, but particularly Russia, has secured in recent decades.

However, Russia's military deployment in its neighbouring country from 24 February will almost certainly have an adverse impact on its position in the Asia-Pacific as a leading military supplier.

Not only will the invasion prompt a reprioritisation of Russia's military-industrial complex, but the multitude of sanctions imposed on Moscow by the United States and its NATO partners will further hamper its ability to meet regional defence opportunities and requirements.

Such opportunities include demands for new equipment while the requirements stem from Asia-Pacific countries' fleets of Russian platforms that need spare parts and support.

For countries in the Asia-Pacific, the challenges that Russia will face will be keenly felt. And they are likely to become more acute once any regional Russian customer considers the growing strategic risk of buying materiel from Moscow. Sanctions on any procurer are a distinct possibility.

India risk

Janes data compiled on 24 February shows the country most at risk from diminished Russian supplies is India. The difficulties that New Delhi could face in acquiring such materiel is likely to have a significant impact on the preparedness of the Indian military.

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