Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

India quietly seals missile deal with Russian Federation despite USA warning

‘A traitor to his motherland’: Putin lashes out, calls poisoned spy Sergei Skripal a ‘scumbag’ Putin: US Making 'Colossal' and 'Typical' Empire's Mistake
| 07 October, 2018, 00:48

Ignoring the American sanction on purchase of arms from Russia, India is likely to sign a deal today in presence of visiting President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the procurement of S-400 Triumf air defence systems.

Huge investment opportunities are there in areas including metro rail construction, Sagarmala (a port-led development project), roads, Modi said while addressing businesses of both the countries at India-Russia Business Summit in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ahead of the visit, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said the missile deal would be worth more than $5 billion.

India has requested that the United States grant it a waiver for the deal from sanctions prescribed by the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a U.S. law passed i n August 2017 that is meant to punish Russian Federation for its annexation of Crimea and alleged interference in the 2016 USA elections.

Last month Washington slapped financial sanctions on the Chinese military for buying Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets - and the S-400. "We always arrive in India with great pleasure as we know that we are surrounded here in the environment of very frank friendship, business cooperation", Putin said.

But Russia still remains India's biggest military equipment supplier, accounting for 62 percentof India's total weapons imports during the past five years, according to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute.


One of the announcements would be holding of the joint India-Russia counter-terrorism exercise, Indra-2018, set to be held from November 18 to 28, 2018. Indian Air Force chief BS Dhanoa said on Wednesday that the S-400 systems would be a booster dose for the IAF that is grappling with shrinking combat capabilities.

Now the crucial question is whether President Trump will grant a waiver to India for the purchase of the S-400.

India has hoped that the United States administration will give it a "sanctions waiver" if it signs the S-400 deal with Russian Federation, but USA officials have given no clear signal they will.

India "cannot be put in a position where, in effect, Washington decides what kind of relationship they have with these other countries", said Ashley Tellis, a former senior Bush administration official and longtime India expert.

The two sides "welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of the S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile system to India", said a detailed joint statement issued after the two leaders met for the 19th edition of the summit. Russian Federation will also help India in its plans to mount a manned space mission by 2022. The deal demonstrates the highest level of trust and understanding between India and Russian Federation.

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