India Moves Ahead with Russian Missile System Purchase— Sanctions Relief Unlikely

  • “We urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).”
  • U.S. law prevents countries from making arms deals with Russia, including India.
  • United States officials have been saying continuously that India should not think that it will get a sanctions exemption.

India wants to buy an S-400  missile system from Russia. However, American officials say that if India makes this purchase, it risks US sanctions. This means that India may have to bear the brunt of the conflict between America and Russia.

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is an Indian diplomat turned politician who is serving as the current Minister of External Affairs in the Government of India since May 31, 2019. He has previously served as the Foreign Secretary from January 2015 to January 2018.

Although India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who visited the US, had said that he thought he would convince the US to accept the deal, the US State Department told The Hindu newspaper via email that any such deal may risk sanctions. In this email, a spokesperson for the US State Department wrote, “we urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).”

This restriction is not especially for India, actually, these restrictions will apply to any country that will violate an American (CAATSA) law. As the name of this law makes it understandable, through this law, America pressures its opponents and tries to break their deal. Russia, Iran and North Korea are the declared opponents of America.

In the case of Russia, this law prevents those countries from making arms deals with Russia. The US Congress passed this law in 2017 after Donald Trump came to power. Ever since this law came into force on August 2, 2017, there has been speculation in India as to how this will affect Indian-Russian defense relations, especially the possible purchase of the S-400 missile system. Earlier, the US had banned the Equipment Development Department and its directors of China Central Military Commission under this law. These restrictions were imposed on China because it bought the SU-35 aircraft and the S-400 system from Russia.

S-400 miss defense system

The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, CAATSA, is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. The bill was passed on July 27, 2017, 98–2 in the Senate, after having passed the House 419–3. On August 2, 2017, President Donald Trump signed it into law while stating that he believed the legislation was “seriously flawed”.

The Government of India wants to buy ‘S-400: Long Range Surface to Air Missile System’ from Russia. The S-400 is considered the world’s most effective air defense system. For example, the S-400 can hit 36 ​​locations simultaneously.

Apart from this, it has an aircraft control system. It will destroy both ballistic and cruise missiles. The S-400 can be carried anywhere by road transport and it is said that it can be deployed within five to 10 minutes. Defense analysts believe that the arrival of the S-400 will increase the strength of the Indian Army. The Indian government has asked for five S-400 systems from Russia for the Indian Air Force.

No official announcement has been made about how much India will have to pay for this defense system. However, some reports have said that India will have to spend more than $5.4 billion for this. As soon as the first installment of this missile system is to be repaid, similarly the US sanctions may apply to India. United States officials have been saying continuously that India should not think that it will get a sanctions exemption. The United States will decide what to do.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site. 

 


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