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Business News/ News / India/  Germany deputy foreign minister 'optimistic' about multi-billion dollar submarine deal with India
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Germany deputy foreign minister 'optimistic' about multi-billion dollar submarine deal with India

Lindner said that although Germany has restrictions on weapons exports, it looks favourably on applications from German firms to sell arms to India and is also looking to reform its arms export rules.

Tobias Lindner, deputy foreign minister, Germany.Premium
Tobias Lindner, deputy foreign minister, Germany.

Germany’s deputy foreign minister Tobias Lindner said he is “optimistic" a multi-billion dollar submarine deal between India and Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) will go through. 

The deal could see TKMS team up with India’s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd to build submarines for the Indian Navy.

"We know about the interest in the German submarines, and we feel honoured by that. I'm quite optimistic - the next necessary step would be an agreement between the company and the Indian government. But I believe the German government will support the deal in a constructive way," Lindner told Mint on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue 2024.

Lindner said that although Germany has restrictions on weapons exports, it looks favourably on applications from German firms to sell arms to India and is also looking to reform its arms export rules.

"For various reasons, my country has been in the past, and I would say still is, quite reluctant and careful when it comes to the provision of arms sales. It's not directed against India. We are careful with respect to any country in the world, even to some NATO members. But what I can assure you is that when we sign a contract, we are a reliable partner. That's what we can offer," he said.

Despite this, bilateral defence trade has increased narkedly since 2018, Lindner argued.

"At the moment, we are debating new legislation on arms exports in Germany. I would say we have a positive tendency when it comes to requests of German defense companies with respect to exports to India. If you look at the volume of exports of 2018 compared to last year, it has gone up seven times. I believe this proves that we are not reluctant," said Lindner, who has served as State Minister in Germany’s Foreign Ministry since 2022.

Germany’s Defence Minister Boris Pistorius visited India in July last year and met with his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh. During the meeting, Singh highlighted the possibility for German defence investments in two Defence Industrial Corridors set up in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. According to the Ministry of Defence, India’s defence industry could then play a role in the supply chains of German defence firms. Bistorius also visited the Western Naval Command and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited during his time in India.

Lindner also spoke of the situation in the Ukraine war, which began two years ago on February 24, 2022.

“I would very much appreciate it if India got involved in the peace process started for Ukraine by President Zelensky when he presented his peace plan. In the months to come, Switzerland will likely host the conference on that. And it would be good if India joined and also tried to facilitate a way to a just and lasting peace in Ukraine," he told Mint.

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Published: 27 Feb 2024, 05:52 PM IST
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