India lifts its ban on the Italian defence company


Posted on 07 November 2021


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Just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi, the government has decided to lift its ban on the Italian defence company implicated in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter contract, sources informed. According to the Italian envoy, the lifting of the restriction would result in a “relaunch” of relations between the two countries. Bilateral relations have been strained in recent years due to the helicopter case as well as the case of the Italian marines accused of killing Kerala fisherman, but Mr. Modi's maiden visit to Rome has seen both matters put to rest. A defence official revealed to The Hindu that the embargo on Leonardo SpA, an Italian defence business, has been removed with certain conditions. When asked about the topic, Italian Ambassador Vincenzo De Luca said it was discussed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit, which was accompanied by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. According to one government source, the prohibition has had an impact on the Navy, which is looking for a new supplier for "heavy weight torpedoes." The meeting of the Prime Ministers in Rome came just a few months after India formally dropped all charges against Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, and the Supreme Court agreed to end criminal proceedings based on an International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea judgement. Italy has awarded a compensation of ten crore to the fishermen who were erroneously killed by marines onboard the Enrica Lexie ship in 2012.


Key Points

  • Just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi, the government has decided to lift its ban on the Italian defence company implicated in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter contract, sources informed.

  • According to the Italian envoy, the lifting of the restriction would result in a “relaunch” of relations between the two countries.

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