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Highlights:

  • India had signed a USD 5.43 billion deal with Russia for obtaining five S-400 surface to air missile systems
  • Washington had apparently remarked that the Russian S-400 system may stir CAATSA sanctions
  • CAATSA authorises the US administration to necessitate sanctions on countries that purchase major defence hardware from Russia

The United States has not made a decision on a potential waiver of sanction against India for its purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, a state department spokesperson noted. The department stated that the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) does not have a blanket or country-specific waiver provision.

The Joe Biden administration also demands that all of their allies, partners forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering sanctions under the CAATSA, the spokesperson voiced in reply to reports that Russia has commenced delivering the S-400 to India.

Meanwhile, India had signed a USD 5.43 billion deal with Russia for obtaining five S-400 surface to air missile systems during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in New Delhi in October 2019, for long term security needs.

Washington had apparently remarked that the Russian S-400 system may stir CAATSA sanctions. The CAATSA is a United States federal law that enforced sanctions on North Korea and Russia.

CAATSA authorises the US administration to necessitate sanctions on countries that purchase major defence hardware from Russia in retort to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its rumoured meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections. Amidst demand from US Senators to waive sanctions against India, the spokesperson cited that the CAATSA does not have a blanket or country-specific waiver provision.

The spokesperson voiced, “We urge all our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). We have not made a determination on a potential waiver with respect to the Indian arms transaction with Russia. CAATSA does not have a blanket or country-specific waiver provision.”

The spokesperson continued, “The US defence partnership has expanded significantly in recent years, commensurate with India’s status as a major defence partner. We expect this strong momentum in our defence partnership to continue. We value our strategic partnership with India.”

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