Washington: A month after the imposing sanctions on Turkey for purchasing S-400 air defence systems from Russia, the United States on Friday warned India it is unlikely to get a waiver on its planned acquisition of the same equipment, said reports.
The US’ warning significantly raises the risk of similar sanctions on India as well if it goes ahead with the purchase of S-400 missiles, suggest experts.
The Donald Trump administration has been asking India to scrap the mega $5.5 billion deal for five air defence systems and avoid a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
It maintains that India does not have a wide waiver from a US law that aims to deter countries from purchasing Russian military hardware.
According to some experts, the position of the US on India’s deal with Russia is unlikely to change even under the Biden administration that takes over next week as it has promised even tougher approach towards Kremlin.
Meanwhile, India has iterated that it needs the long-range surface-to-air missiles to counter the threat from China amid a standoff at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh.
Reacting to the report, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “India and the US have a comprehensive global strategic partnership. India has a special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia.”
In a dig at the US warning, he added, “India has always pursued an independent foreign policy. This also applies to our defence acquisitions and supplies which are guided by our national security interests.”
It should be noted that the United States imposed sanctions on Turkey last month for its acquisition of the Russian air defence systems under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).