Big boost for India: Multi-thousand crore S-400 missile deal with Russia likely to escape US sanction

By: | Updated: July 25, 2018 2:55 PM

In a major boost to India, the US is likely not to impose a sanction on its crucial S-400 air defence missile systems deal with Russia. New Delhi was informed about this by Washington

S-400, which is considered as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system, has the capability of destroying missiles, drones and hostile aircraft in the range of up to 400 km.

In a major boost to India, the US is likely not to impose a sanction on its crucial S-400 air defence missile systems deal with Russia. New Delhi was informed about this by Washington, according to an IE report. The South Block had apprehended that due to the ongoing rift between US and Russia, India’s deal would attract a possible sanction the Trump administration even as the central government had made its intention clear by giving nod to the deal irrespective of the consequences citing that agreement has reached an “advanced stage”.

The development also has a potential bearing on 2+2 dialogue between Defence and Foreign ministers of India and the US. After a series of deferments, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will engage in the “2+2 dialogue” with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis in New Delhi on September 6.

How India is likely to get the waiver?

US imposes sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Predominantly, those nations which do dealings with Russia’s Defence industry attract sanction. However, India is set to be granted leeway by a US Congressional committee. In a joint conference report to the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA)-2019, the Senate and House Armed Services Committee extended a waiver to section 231 of CAATSA. The NDAA-2019 is now sending the proposal to the Senate and the House. After a formal passage there, this will be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to sign.

However, America has laid down a condition as it wants New Delhi to gradually lessen the induction of Russia-made weapons and increase dealings with the US. The move was made possible by Indian diplomats in Washington DC, led by Ambassador Navtej Sarna along with the help of a few in the US administration. Apart from India, Indonesia and Vietnam, are likely to get the waiver.

What is S-400 missile system?

In April this year, both India and Russia had finalised the price negotiations for procuring S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for the Indian Air Force, according to PTI report. The deal is reportedly worth nearly Rs 40,000 crore. Both the countries were ascertaining ways to evade US sanctions. The missile system will bolster India’s air defence mechanism.

S-400, which is considered as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system, has the capability of destroying missiles, drones and hostile aircraft in the range of up to 400 km.

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