On Thursday, October 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in New Delhi on his 2 day India visit for India-Russia annual meet. President Putin will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and both leaders are expected to sign multi-billion dollar defence deals.
During Russian President’s India visit, India is set to sign defence deals, S-400 air defence missile system for worth more than $5 billion, four Talwar class frigate warships worth $2.2 billion, medium lift helicopters Mi-17 V5 worth more than and $1 billion and manufacturing of AK-103 assault rifles in collaboration with Ordinance Factory, with Russia.
India is in negotiations with Russia for purchase of 5 regiments of S-400 air defence missile system. Last month defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the negotiations are in final stage for procurement of S-400 missile system.
S-400 is important for India to protect its critical assets from any air strike or missile attack and to counter to China too that will get the same missile system by the end of the year. India will be able to get the S-400 system by 2020.
US has warned India that the relief from the sanctions under CAATSA is unlikely if India goes ahead with S-400 purchase from Russia. CAATSA became a law last year in August after US President Donald Trump signed the Act to punish Russia for its Crimea Annexation.
On Wednesday, when asked about India’s plan to purchase S-400, the spokesperson of US State department said, “We urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that would trigger sanctions under CAATSA”.
He said, “The Administration has indicated that a focus area for the implementation of CAATSA Section 231 is new or qualitative upgrades in capability – including the S-400 air and missile defence system”.
US is the second biggest arms supplier to India after Russia. India has cleared to US that S-400 is important for it to fill the gap in its security and asked for relief from sanctions. Whereas US reaffirmed that India may get relief in sanctions for purchase of spares but not for a new deal.
India may sign deal to buy four Talwar class frigate warships from Russia. Two of them will be procured directly from Russia for $900 million and remaining two will be manufactured at Goa Shipyard Limited. The cost of the two warships that will be manufactured in India will be high because of the installation of new facilities and technology transfer cost.