'CAATSA sanctions will not put pressure on India-Russia defence deals', says Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev

Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev on Thursday said that CAATSA sanctions imposed by US will not be a pressure between India-Russia defence deals, reported ANI. The ambassador further added, "You will see deals on frigates and Kalashnikovs."

Kudashev also said that during Russian president Vladimir Putin's visit to India, both sides had discussed strategies to identify "common priority areas and how to protect our trade relationship from unpredictable factors like Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

President Donald Trump on Wednesday had said that India would "find out soon" if the punitive CAATSA sanctions apply to it over its $5 billion deal with Russia to purchase S-400 Triumf air defence system. The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA is a US federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia.

India's deal with Russia for the S-400 missile system placed it in the bracket of a potential American sanction. On 6 October, the Donald Trump administration had said that the presidential waiver granted by the Congress in this regard is narrow and intended to wean countries off of Russian equipment. "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," the White House NSC spokesperson said. In September, the US had imposed sanctions on China for the purchase of S-400 from Russia.

On 5 October, Russian president Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met for the 19th India-Russia annual bilateral summit and the two sides signed eight pacts. In the presence of both leaders, India and Russia signed the deal for five S-400 missile system. The S-400 is known to be the world’s most effective long-range surface-to-air missile system.

On the same day, responding to a query on impact of anti-Russia sanctions on India after the conclusion of the S-400 contract, the US embassy spokesperson had 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 defence sector. CAATSA is not intended to impose damage to the military capabilities of our allies or partners," the spokesperson had added.

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Updated Date: Oct 11, 2018 14:05:30 IST