India inks deal for S-400 purchase from Russian Federation on Putin's visit

Mae Harvey
October 7, 2018

Official sources said the two countries also signed the $5 billion S-400 air defence system deal after talks between the two leaders in Hyderabad House. The S-400 has three components - the missile launchers themselves, a powerful radar and a command centre.

PIBPrime Minister Narendra Modi today said India is emerging as a shining star among world economies and the government is working on a number of reforms to boost this.

"It is also politically important in that it signals that India will not abandon Russian Federation as a supplier because of U.S. pressure". He also said that the two leaders discussed the resulting situation after USA withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal.

India, walking a tightrope between Russian Federation and the United States while keeping a wary eye on China, is expected to seek sanctions waivers but President Donald Trump´s administration has signalled this is unlikely. He also cited the 70 year history of military hardware acquisitions from Russian Federation and pointed out that almost 64 per cent of the military inventory in India is from Russian Federation. "We can not prejudge any sanctions decisions". "Russia has always been with us in the development journey of India".

The US has hinted at tough sanctions against any nation that buys advanced military hardware from Russian Federation.

Although the deal was not mentioned when the two leaders appeared before reporters, a joint statement after the talks said that the two sides welcomed the agreement. The S-400 deliveries are expected to begin in two years.

As the two leaders addressed the media after the summit, there was confusion on whether the S-400 missile deal, seen as the showpiece of India-Russia defence partnership, had been signed or not in view of United States threat of punitive action against Indian entities dealing with Russia under the Countering of America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Russian Federation signed a deal with India to supply five regiments of S-400 anti-aircraft missiles to India, Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Friday.

New Delhi, which does not want to jeopardize its growing ties with Washington, is optimistic about avoiding USA sanctions. Faced with public discontent, President Vladimir Putin proposed several measures - that were adopted by the State Duma - to soften the pension reform, including lowering the pension age hike for women to 60.

The deal signed on Friday is a setback to U.S. efforts to "isolate" Russian Federation and it would now have to choose between "punishing" India or agreeing to a waiver.

Although there was no public signing, the deal was sealed during President Vladimir Putin's ongoing visit to New Delhi for an annual summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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