New Delhi: The negotiations for purchase of S-400 air defence system between India and Russia have been concluded. Sources have informed that the negotiations about price and other details have been successful and the deal will be announced soon. The United States has imposed strict sanctions on the purchase of arms systems from Russia. Therefore, the Indian purchase of S-400 may invite sanctions from the United States. In view of this, the importance of the deal between India and Russia has increased.
A few days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi. The entire details of the discussions between the two leaders during this meeting have not been revealed till date. But it is said that martial and military cooperation between India and Russia was given high priority among the topics discussed in the meeting. As per the information received by the media, the two leaders discussed about developing bilateral cooperation which would be out of scope of the sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia. It is claimed that the Airforce officials have declared about the completion of S-400 system deal following these discussions. Meanwhile, the United States has imposed strict sanctions against Russia and because of the ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’ (CAATSA), all the countries purchasing arms systems from Russia will also face sanctions from the United States. The United States had threatened Turkey of sanctions under the CAATSA act, as it was trying to purchase air defence system from Russia. It seems that India may also be faced with the same threat.
However, US Defence Secretary James Mattis had advised that the Trump administration should not take such a decision against India. During a hearing in front of the US Congress, he had appealed that in view of security needs for India, it should be given concessions from the CAATSA act.
India is the closest ally of the United States. If the United States imposes sanctions against India it will be more detrimental to the interests of the United States than of India. This will also affect the bilateral relations, claimed Defence Secretary Mattis. Also, India has purchased defence equipment only from Russia till date. Defence Secretary Mattis appealed to the Congress to understand that India depends heavily on Russia for the spares and maintenance of this equipment. This appeal seems to have had its effect and there are indications from the Trump administration that India will not have to face sanctions from the United States.