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Strict criteria for waiver, says US on CAATSA sanctions

Washington D. C. [USA], Oct 06 : The United States on Friday said that the waiver authority for sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) was not countryspecific, adding that there are “strict criteria for considering a waiver.” “The waiver authority is not country-specific.

There are strict criteria for considering a waiver. The waiver is narrow, intended to reduce countries’ reliance on Russian equipment and allow for things such as spare parts for previously-purchased equipment,” a statement from the USState Department read. “We urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that would trigger sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

The Administration has indicated that a focus area for the implementation of CAATSASection 231 is new or qualitative upgrades in capability – including the S-400 air and missile defence system,” the statement added. The sanction threats come as a reaction to the India-Russia deal for the purchase of the S-400 Triumf air defence systems.

The US had earlier clarified that the CAATSA is not intended to impose damage to the military capabilities of its allies or partners, adding that it “is to impose costs on Russia for its malign behaviour, including by stopping the flow of money to Russia’s defence sector.” India is hoping to get a waiver from the sanctions owing to the need for the S-400 system considering the fragile security situation in South Asia.

India has also cited its long-standing defence partnership with Russia and that the decision for the purchase of the defence system was taken several months before CAATSA was enacted. The US had recently sanctioned China’s Equipment Development Department (EDD) for purchasing Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and the same S-400 missiles that India is purchasing, triggering a diplomatic confrontation between China and the US. The CAATCA was implemented by the US following the invasion of Crimea by Russia in 2014.

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