India on Friday sealed a deal with Russia to buy S-400 surface to air missile systems, giving a substantial boost to air defence capabilities of the Indian Air Force. India ignored US threats of sanctions.
As soon as deal got concluded but both the leaders made no mention of it in their statement to the media, apparently in view of the sensitivities involving the US that has been pressing India not to go ahead with the deal. Where US clarified that it cannot prejudge any sanction decisions and clarified that CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) is not intended to impose damage to the military capabilities of its allies. “The intent of our implementation of CAATSA is to impose costs on Russia for its malign behaviour, including by stopping the flow of money to Russia’s defence sector,” said Jinnie Lee, Spokesperson of the US Embassy in New Delhi.
The deal was concluded during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin,
Nor was the S-400 Triumf contract part of the signing ceremony for eight deals inked by the two sides in the presence of the two leaders covering areas of space cooperation, railways, nuclear cooperation, fertilisers and micro, small and medium enterprises.
An indication of the missile deal being concluded came in the joint statement issued by the two sides shortly after the talks between the leaders. “The (two) sides welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of the S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile system to India,” said the joint statement.
The contract is estimated to be worth more than $5 billion and gives the Indian military the ability to shoot down aircraft and missiles at unprecedented ranges.