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US urges India against purchasing Russian S-400s

Washington: Ahead of Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s visit to India, the United States on Friday urged the country against buying Russian S-400 systems which may trigger CAATSA sanctions.

“With respect to the S-400, we’re urging all of our allies and partners, India included, to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering the CAATSA [Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act] sanctions…This is a time we will be encouraging India to look at alternatives,” Sputnik quoted a senior US Department of State official as saying during a conference.

Washington is already engaged in a row with NATO ally Turkey over the purchase of the Russian system.

India had signed a USD 5.43 billion deal with Russia for the purchase of five S-400s during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in New Delhi on October 5 last year. The decision was made despite the US threat of sanctions against countries for their defence purchases with Russia.

Washington has previously 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 United States had “indirectly” warned New Delhi earlier this month over its S-400 purchase, according to Sputnik. They had reportedly said that the Russian defence deal may compromise India-US arms deals.

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