India is yet to decide on waiver of sanctions on Russia’s S-400 deal

India has started receiving supplies of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.

Lalit K Jha:

The Biden administration said on Tuesday that the United States is yet to firm up any possible waiver of the Anti-America Opponents of America Act (CAATSA) through sanctions to India in relation to the purchase of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia. Not resolved.

The State Department’s remarks come a week after India began supplying S-400 missile defense systems to Russia and calls by top Republican and Democratic lawmakers not to impose CAATSA sanctions on India.

Stating that it values ​​its “strategic partnership” with India, a State Department official kept the Biden administration’s secret on the issue by telling journalists that CAATSA does not have a blanket or country-specific exemption provision. Not there.

“We need to refer you to the Government of India for any comment on the possible delivery of the S-400 system. But when it comes to the system, not only in the Indian context, but also more broadly, that we have urged all our allies, all our partners, to relinquish transactions with Russia, under which sanctions are triggered. may be at risk. – CAATSA, The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “We have not made any decisions on possible exemptions in relation to Indian arms transactions with Russia.”

“However, there is no blanket or country-specific exemption provision in CAATSA. We also know that our defense ties with India have expanded and deepened in recent years. This is deep and in line with our broad and deepening relationship with India and its status as a major defense partner,” he said.

“We expect this strong momentum to continue in our defense relationship. We certainly value our strategic partnership with India. As you know, we had the opportunity to visit India long ago. I believe we have met with External Affairs Minister Jaishankar several times in August. We have discussed this concern directly, including at the highest levels of the Indian government,” Price said in response to a question.

He said several members of the US Congress have shown keen interest in the issue.

“It is not for us to talk to any system which may or may not be received by the Government of India. It is up to us to talk about those laws and the requirements under those laws. Obviously, the members of Congress are also keenly interested in this. So, this is a conversation that is going on with our Indian partners,” Price said.

“It’s a conversation that takes place in the context of a defense relationship that’s meaningful to us, that’s important to both the United States and India, including in the context of a free and open Indo-Pacific. And so, me It is doubtful that those talks will continue,” he said.

Price said that the 2+2 talks will soon take place in Washington DC.

“We are re-committed to 2+2, because of the important relationship we have with India, including its status as a major defense partner. But I can assure you that the very first 2+2 opportunity Will happen,” he said.

Last month, US senators and India Caucus co-chairs Mark Warner and John Cornyn sent a letter to President Joe Biden encouraging him to waive CAATSA sanctions against India for buying military weapons from Russia.

“While India has taken significant steps to reduce purchases of Russian military equipment, it has a long history of procuring arms from the Soviet Union and later Russia. In 2018, India formally signed a deal with Russia two years earlier. The Russians agreed to buy the S-400 Triumph air-defense system after signing the preliminary agreement,” he said.

“We are concerned that the upcoming transfer of these systems will lead to sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was created to hold Russia accountable for its malicious behavior,” they wrote.

“As such, we strongly encourage you to grant a CAATSA exemption to India for its planned purchase of the S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile system. In cases where the waiver would preclude US national security interests. Promoted, this exemption authority, as written into law by Congress, allows the president additional discretion in enforcing sanctions,” the two senators wrote.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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