India says it will go ahead with the purchase of Russia’s superior S-400 air defense system despite the US sanctions threat, reminding Washington of New Delhi’s independent foreign policy.
India has always pursued an independent foreign policy. This also applies to our defense acquisitions and supplies which are guided by our national security interests,” said the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava in a statement quoted by Time of India.
India’s multi-billion dollar deal to purchase the Russian-made S-400 air defense system may trigger US sanctions on India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).”
The ministry further emphasized that while India and the US have a complete world strategic partnership, New Delhi maintains “a particular and privileged strategic partnership with Russia.
Russia’s ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, emphasized recently that both New Delhi and Moscow respected all UN Security Council sanctions, except those illegally imposed by USA. American law does not cover international law.
Washington last month imposed CAATSA on Turkey for “knowingly engaging in a significant transaction” with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s major weapons export company, by procuring the same S-400 system.
Moscow and New Delhi originally signed a general agreement on the sale of five units of the air defense systems back in October 2016, but signed the contract for the procurement, worth 5.43 billion dollars, in October 2018.
Russia announced in February 2020 that it has started the production of a batch of S-400 missile defense systems for India under a deal the two countries reached two years earlier, despite the threat of sanctions by the US regime against New Delhi over the purchase of the advanced air defense system.
The S-400 Triumph missile defense systems, designed and produced by Russian state-owned company Almaz-Antey, are capable of engaging targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.
The missile system can destroy aircraft as well as cruise and ballistic missiles. It can also be used against land-based targets. Russia boasts S-400 can even lock and shoot down 5th generation stealth fighter like American F-35 jets.
Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov declared that training centers had already been set up in India to prepare the Indian operators of Russia’s most advanced long-range air defense platform.
PressTV / ABC Flash Point Defense News 2021.