On Monday, September 17, 2018, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared that Defence and security ties of India and Russia will not be impacted by US sanctions on India for its defence purchase from Russia.
In reply to a question, whether the US sanctions on military transactions with Russia will hit New Delhi’s strategic and defence with one of its closest partner, the Defence Minister said, “India has maintained its sovereignty as regards to its relationship with countries. We shall maintain it in all earnestness”.
Ahead of Russian President @PutinRF_Eng‘s India visit next month, Defence Minister @nsitharaman has indicated that India will not allow its time-tested defence ties with Russia to be impacted by the US sanctions on military transactions with Moscow.https://t.co/UIYVI3fCW3
— moneycontrol (@moneycontrolcom) September 17, 2018
Defence minister’s statement came weeks before the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India. Russian president will come to India early next month for India-Russia annual summit. President Putin will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit in New Delhi and both leaders may sign long pending defence deals during the meet.
Defence Minister Sitharaman said that negotiations on S-400 missile defence system are complete and India may finalize it soon. India is buying S-400 missile system from Russia for Rs. 40,000 crore and recently cleared the path to buy four Talwar class Warships for $2.2 billion from Russia.
S-400 Triumf Air defence missile system is the upgraded version of S-300 Air defence system of Russia that is in service since 2007 and was manufactured by Almaz-Antey. S-400 is the most advanced long range surface to air missile defence system that can destroy the hostile aircrafts, missile and drones up to 400 kilometer range.
US has threatened to sanction India under CAATSA (Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), if India goes ahead for the big ticket defence purchase with Russia. India has already declared to US about its decision to go ahead to buy S-400 missile from Russia and may have been cleared it during the 2+2 dialogue that was held on September 6, 2018.
US sanctions may create difficulties for Indian banks to make the payments to Russian defence firms, but India-Russia could use the Rupee-Rouble route for payments.