Hours after India sealed the $5 billion deal to purchase S-400 long range surface-to-air missile defence system from Russia, The United States in a guarded reaction said it did not want to damage the military capabilities of its “allies or partners”.
It said its intent to slap sanctions against Russia was not aimed at imposing damage to the military capabilities of its “allies or partners,” shortly after India concluded the deal.
Stating that the intent to slap sanctions on Russia was to impose costs for its “malign behaviour”, the US also made it clear that any waiver will be considered on a transaction-by-transaction basis, adding it cannot prejudge any sanctions decisions.
Responding to a query on impact of anti-Russia sanctions on India after the conclusion of the S-400 contract, the US embassy spokesperson said, “Waivers of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) section 231 will be considered on a transaction-by-transaction basis. We cannot prejudge any sanctions decisions.”
“The intent of our implementation of CAATSA is to impose costs on Russia for its malign behavior, including by stopping the flow of money to Russia’s defense sector. CAATSA is not intended to impose damage to the military capabilities of our allies or partners,” the spokesperson added.
However, the spokesperson said, “the waiver authority is not for a blanket waiver. It is transaction-specific. There are strict criteria for considering a waiver.”
India on Friday, signed the missile deal with Russia, ignoring America’s threat of sanctions. India had last month firmly told the US at the ‘2+2’ dialogue that it takes note of the historic nature of India-Russia defence relationship as also legacy issues and keep the missile deal out of the sanctions’ regime.
The US had earlier urged its allies to forgo transactions with Russia, warning that the S-400 missile defence system that India intends to buy would be a “focus area” for it to implement punitive sanctions against a nation undertaking “significant” business deals with the Russians.
The deal was concluded during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
(With PTI inputs)