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25 Jun, 2019 15:45

India to ‘make clear’ to US that S-400 deal with Moscow ‘can’t be wished away’ – report

India to ‘make clear’ to US that S-400 deal with Moscow ‘can’t be wished away’ – report

New Delhi plans to convince the US to grant it a waiver on buying the S-400 air defense missile systems from Moscow, a report says.

 “We have a longstanding defense relationship with Russia we cannot wish away,” a diplomatic source told NDTV ahead of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to New Delhi on Tuesday.

According to the report, it “will be made clear” to Pompeo that India expects to receive a waiver from Washington, allowing the country to acquire Russian arms without the risk of violating US sanctions.

The $5 billion deal to buy five batteries of Russian-made top-notch S-400 Triumf (Triumph) air defense missile systems was signed by President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October.

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The US had long been warning India against buying Russian weapons, even hinting that dealings with Moscow could affect the future defense contracts with the Pentagon. Last week, a State Department official warned that by buying the S-400s India risks “triggering” sanctions under the 2017 US law, known as CAATSA, which restricts dealings with certain countries, including Russia.

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India is not the only partner the US has failed to pressure out of buying the S-400s. Its NATO ally Turkey had signed a similar deal with Moscow and expects the first batch of the missile systems to arrive in July. Turkish officials rebuffed all the warnings from the US, insisting that Ankara is free to decide on which states to buy weapons from.

The US imposed sanctions on Moscow in 2014, following the reunification of Crimea with Russia. The sanctions had since then been extended several times.

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