Russia today reassured India that it was committed to the agreed timeline with regard to the delivery of long-range S-400 surface-to- air defence missile systems.

“With regard to S-400 and the other agreements, both sides are committed to the agreed timelines and the obligations in this contract will be successfully fulfilled, as to my knowledge,” Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said at a Press briefing.

India has signed an air defence system deal worth $5 billion with Russia for the procurement of five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems. The pact was signed in October 2018 during the 19th India-Russia annual summit in New Delhi.

The US has repeatedly told India that it might attract sanctions under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), should it go ahead with the missile systems deal with Russia.

However, India has made it quite clear that there was no question of going back on the deal since the missile systems were meant for protecting the country’s security interests.

The delivery of the S-400 missile systems is expected to begin around November this year.

Kudashev also stated that ties between India and Russia remained equal and comprehensive despite any global turbulence. “They are based on universal principles of interstate relations, international law, UN’s Charter and respect for each other’s interests,” he added.

“In defence, Russia remains the leading Indian partner. Internationally, we are on the same page with regards to the issues of promoting strategic stability and international security,” he added.

These comments are significant since there are concerns in India over the growing relationship between Russia and Pakistan, India’s main adversary. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, who was in New Delhi last week, also paid a visit to Pakistan and promised to supply military equipment to Islamabad to counter terrorism.

This was the first visit by a Russian foreign minister to Pakistan in nearly a decade.

Meanwhile, Russia’s deputy envoy Roman Babushkin spoke on the approval given in India to the Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik.