India’s multi-billion dollar deal to purchase the Russian-made S-400 air defence system may trigger US sanctions on New Delhi, a US Congressional report has warned.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) – an independent and bipartisan research wing of US Congress – in its latest report to Congress, said India is “eager for more technology-sharing and co-production initiatives, while the United States urges more reforms in India’s defence offsets policy and higher Foreign Direct Investment caps in its defence sector.”
Prepared for the members of the Congress for them to take informed decisions, the report went on to warn that “India’s multi-billion dollar deal to purchase the Russian-made S-400 air defence system may trigger US sanctions on India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.” The CRS’ reports are neither an official report of the US Congress nor reflect the view of Congressmen. They are prepared by independent experts for the lawmakers to take informed decisions.
In October 2018, India had signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, despite a warning from the Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanctions. In 2019, India made the first tranche of payment of around USD 800 million to Russia for the missile systems.
The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. Last month, Russia had said that implementation of its ongoing defence deals with India including the supply of a batch of S-400 missile systems is advancing well notwithstanding the threat of US sanctions.
At a press conference in New Delhi last month, Russian ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev appeared to criticise the US sanctions on Turkey for procuring the S-400 missile systems under a USD 2.5 billion deal, saying Moscow does not recognise such unilateral actions. “We do not recognise or welcome unilateral sanctions as a language or tool or instrument of interstate or international relations, other than those applied by the UN Security Council, this is also the case of Turkey,” he said.
“As far as India is concerned, we share the same platform. India’s position is also crystal clear. No sanctions are acknowledged other than those imposed by the UN Security Council. Whatever the future is, we believe that our ties could withstand the coming challenges,” he said. Kudashev was asked to comment on the US sanctions on Turkey under the provisions of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).