Ignoring US, India buys Russia's S-400 air defence system

Ignoring US, India buys Russia's S-400 air defence system

Ignoring US, India buys Russia's S-400 air defence system

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, hugs Russian President Vladimir Putin before their meeting in New Delhi, India, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018.

Putin is on a two-day visit to India to attend the nineteenth Indo-Russia annual bilateral summit.

Putin, who arrived in New Delhi late Thursday accompanied by top officials including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, held talks with Modi. India depended on Russian Federation for political support as well as billions of dollars in military hardware.

"It is also important for India to keep friendly relations with Russians so that they don't completely move into the Chinese camp", said Manoj Joshi from New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation think-tank.

The deal, said analysts, demonstrates that India is seeking a balance as it steadily grows strategic ties with Washington, but is unwilling to forgo its long-standing defense partnership with Russian Federation. "We can not prejudge any sanctions decisions".

PIBPrime Minister Narendra Modi today said India is emerging as a shining star among world economies and the government is working on a number of reforms to boost this.

Putin said the two countries have agreed to step up cooperation in combating the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking. The defence deal is the first for India to have with Russian Federation after the imposition of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) by Washington against Moscow in August previous year. The S-400 contract was one of the major topics, of course. The S-400 has three components - the missile launchers themselves, a powerful radar and a command centre. Various U.S. officials, including U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, have openly spoken out against possible sanctions on India.

The deal was signed despite a warning by the United States that it would impose sanctions on India if the agreement went through.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has characterized the missile deal as "maybe the thorniest problem now bedeviling US-India strategic partnership".

However, the United States appears to have found itself in a tricky position with it seeking to strengthen ties with India to counter China's growing assertiveness - an issue India is growing concerned about too.

Last year India and China had a military standoff over a Himalayan plateau claimed by Beijing and Bhutan, a close ally of India.

Pacts were also inked in the fields of space, nuclear energy, railways and space.

"Washington's plans to hit Russia's defence trade aren't really realistic", said Vassily Kashin at the Institute of the Russian Far East.

However, the spokesperson said, "the waiver authority is not for a blanket waiver. If you let the Americans make the arms procurement decisions for you once, it will happen again and again".

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