Following arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin in India and the purchase of S-400 by the Indian counterpart, United States’ President Donald Trump now is considering imposing sanctions on India.
According to our source, the sanction would come into effect by Thursday at the latest.
Putin, who was received by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on his arrival on Thursday evening, went straight to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official Lok Kalyan Marg residence where the two leaders had a one-on-one meeting. Later, Modi hosted a private dinner for the visiting dignitary.
The dinner meeting comes a day ahead of the 19th India-Russia annual summit during which the two leaders will hold comprehensive discussions on wide-ranging bilateral, regional and international issues, including US sanctions against Moscow and counter-terrorism cooperation.
The Russian president is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov among others during his two-day visit.
Ahead of his meeting, Modi tweeted, “Welcome to India, President Putin. Looking forward to our deliberations, which will further enhance India-Russia friendship.” The tweet was also posted in Russian language.
The US$ 5 billion contract to deliver S-400 air defence system to India will be signed by Friday evening and Russia is all set to deliver the system to India by November at the latest.
Purchase of S-400 air defence system by India will violate US sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) instituted by the US Congress on arms purchases from Russia. But New Delhi is ignoring this prospective threat of US sanctions. With the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indo-Russia relations now will reach a newer height and this would begin a new era of emergence of a very strong force in Asia. India on wards will become a dominant player in the regional and global politics with full support from Russia.
United States tried to stop India from buying S-400 from Russia. It has urged its allies to forgo transactions with Russia, warning that the S-400 missile defence system that India intends to buy would be a “focus area” for it to implement punitive sanctions against a nation undertaking “significant” business deals with the Russians. American lawmakers, however, have allowed the possibility of a presidential waiver. India has already given indications that it will go ahead with the deal notwithstanding the US sanctions.
President Donald Trump may even grant presidential waiver to India for this specific defence deal between Delhi and Moscow. Lobbyists for India are actively working in the Capitol Hill in this regard.
Ahead of the visit, the Russian president’s aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted by media as saying that Russia and India are planning to sign more than 20 documents at the end of the Putin-Modi talks and that Putin will oversee the signing of the $5 billion deal.
Sources had earlier said Modi and Putin would also deliberate on impact of US sanctions on import of crude oil from Iran.
The agreements to be signed are likely to boost cooperation in keys sectors such as defence, space, trade, energy and tourism, among others.
S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014 to procure the lethal missile system and Moscow has already started delivery of an undisclosed number of the S-400 missile systems to Beijing.
The S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 systems. The missile system, manufactured by Almaz-Antey, has been in service in Russia since 2007.
Russia has been one of India’s key suppliers of arms and ammunition.
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