India will go by its national interest: S Jaishankar tells US on S-400 missile system deal with Russia

New Delhi: Amid concerns in the US over India procuring S-400 missile defence system from Russia, India said on Wednesday that will go by its national interest and has many bilateral relationships which also have a history.

At a joint press interaction with visiting US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that part of a strategic partnership is the ability of each country to comprehend and appreciate the national interest of the other.

 India will go by its national interest: S Jaishankar tells US on S-400 missile system deal with Russia

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaks as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on during their joint press conference. PTI

"We have many relationships with many countries. Many of them are of some standing. They have a history. So, I think, we will do what we do is on our national interest. And again, part of that strategic partnership is the ability of each country to comprehend and appreciate the national interest of the other," he said.

He was responding to a question about India risking sanctions under CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) if it went ahead with deal to procure S-400 missile systems from Russia.

In an indication that the US may have softened its stance on the issue, Pompeo said the two countries should be able to provide security for themselves.

"We want to make sure that each of our two countries is able to provide security for itself. We want India to be able to do that as well," he said.

There have been suggestions from the US side that India should look for alternatives to the S-400 missile system and transactions with Russia risk triggering CAATSA .

But while there are some concerns in the US about India procuring the system from Russia, it is also seen to be appreciative of India's requirements.

There is also an understanding in New Delhi that India fulfills requirements of a waiver under the US law.

India has been in discussions with Russia for almost 10 years regarding S-400 missile system and the two sides have concluded a contract.

India has told the US the rationale and the circumstances that compel it to go for the system.

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Updated Date: Jun 26, 2019 19:31:24 IST