Deal that wasn’t: No, India has not sold Brahmos missile to Vietnam

NEW DELHI: Amid the worst stand-off in recent past between India and China, a defence deal between Beijing’s arch-rival Hanoi and New Delhi would have escalated the tension to a new heights.

Brahmos

The day saw sections of Indian media reporting about the sale of Brahmos missile to Vietnam that would definitely not go well with China. However, latest reports suggest that the deal never happened. The denial comes after many in India took a local Vietnamese report as a confirmation of the deal. Earlier in the day, a report in VN Express International was interpreted as the confirmation of the Brahmos sale.

The report said that, “The purchase of defense equipment (Brahmos) is in line with Vietnam’s peaceful national defense policies.” Vietnamese foreign ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang’s words were seen as acceptance of the possible defence deal. The Vietnamese media report said, “Hang didn’t directly address the question, but said that the procurement of defense equipment “is in line with Vietnam’s peaceful national defense policies aimed at protecting the country.”

But now, Indian media reports suggest that the deal may be close but not done yet. According to Livefist, there was some confusion whether Vietnamese foreign ministry ‘jumped the gun’ and now was rolling it back. According to The Wire, the Ministry of External Affairs has clarified and said that the news item pertaining to Brahmos sale is ‘incorrect’.