In­dia seeks US ‘ex­emp­tion’ for buy­ing Rus­sian S-400

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation & Defence Inindia -

In an ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­am­ple of re­alpoli­tik, the In­dian gov­ern­ment is re­port­edly in dis­cus­sion with US au­thor­i­ties “for an ex­emp­tion to al­low it to pro­cure the S-400 ad­vanced air de­fence mis­sile sys­tem from Rus­sia”. This is be­cause a waiver is now needed from the “Coun­ter­ing Amer­ica’s Ad­ver­saries Through Sanc­tions ACT (CAATSA), for the pro­cure­ment of this weapon sys­tem worth $5.5 bil­lion (Rs 39,000 crore).” Some years ear­lier, In­dia and Rus­sia fi­nalised an in­ter-gov­ern­men­tal agree­ment on the S-400 Tri­umf air de­fence sys­tems, in Oc­to­ber 2016 and are cur­rently in ad­vance ne­go­ti­a­tions for at least five sys­tems. The discussions have been stalled be­cause of price is­sues and re­lated mat­ters. The S-400 mat­ter could set In­dia and the US on a “col­li­sion course” as at stake is In­dia’s half cen­tury-long ma­jor de­fence re­la­tion­ship with Rus­sia/ Soviet Union, which fact has been ac­knowl­edged by US De­fence Depart­ment of­fi­cials who opined that “forc­ing In­dia to abruptly cut off Rus­sian sup­plies would cre­ate un­ac­cept­able risks to In­dia’s self-de­fence.”Other re­cip­i­ents of the S-400 are China and Turkey, the lat­ter hav­ing ear­lier re­acted strongly to US pres­sures.

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