US preparing documents to sanction India over S-400 purchase

Rishikesh Kumar

The United States has applied its Counte-ring America’s Ad-versaries Through Sancti-ons Act (CAATSA) legislation against countries like China and Turkey for buying advanced Russian-made weapons. The Pentagon Chief had urged New Delhi to avoid purchasing S-400 weaponry from Russia if it hoped to escape American sanctions.

US will certainly impose CAATSA sanction against India as the first batch of S-400 air missile defence system is expected to be delivered in November, claims former cabinet minister and senior parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy.

“I was told by someone who knows about the American establishment that India’s sanction documents have been prepared and kept in the State Department. It will be announced immediately after S-400 arrives. They did not spare Turkey; they are not going to spare us, I am told,” Swamy said while taking part in a discussion on “Indo-US Relations: Recent Developments” on Sunday.

The US believes that as India continued its bilateral engagement with China despite the People’s Liberation Army encroaching on lands in Ladakh, New Delhi should not have any problem with Washington despite sanctions, the BJP parliamentarian underlined.

The US and India have remained tight-lipped about the $5.43 billion deal during the three-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US. Modi held meetings with US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that the two leaders discussed the defence relationship, particularly the option of the two sides looking at practical new projects that could impart new momentum to the defence relationship.

“We are working on operationalizing the four foundational Agreements. The Defence Policy group is due to meet shortly in Washington at the level of Defense Secretaries. We have the Chief of Defense staff also visiting the United States.” Harsh Vardhan Shringla
In March of this year, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III had urged Indian leaders to avoid buying Russian defence equipment, including S-400s, if the country wants to prevent the risk of sanctions. Last month, India’s ambassador to Russia D.B. Venkatesh Varma, reiterated that New Delhi would implement the contract considering specific defence and national security needs. In October 2018, India signed a $5.43 billion deal with Russia for five S-400 Triumf regiments despite objections from the US.

The US imposed sanctions on Turkey in December 2020 following the delivery of first batch of S-400s from Russia. The US claims that the S-400s threaten its F-35 fighter jets and NATO’s broader defence systems.

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