World, Asia - Pacific

US presses India to avoid buying Russian S-400 missile defense systems

US has 'not yet made a determination' under Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, says spokesperson

Servet Günerigök   | 09.12.2021
US presses India to avoid buying Russian S-400 missile defense systems

WASHINGTON 

The US on Wednesday reiterated its call on India to not move ahead with its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems as deliveries of the long-range ground-to-air system remain underway. 

A State Department spokesperson told Anadolu Agency that the US has "not yet made a determination" under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, with respect to the transaction. The act authorizes economic penalties on entities that purchase arms from Russia's defense industry.

"We continue to urge all countries, including India, to avoid major new transactions for Russian weapons systems," said the spokesperson.

New Delhi and Moscow signed a $5.5 billion deal for the S-400 system in 2018, a move that opened India to possible US sanctions.

Washington has long tried to deter countries from buying military equipment from Russia, threatening them with punitive measures under CAATSA.

India moved forward with the deal despite Washington’s warnings that a waiver from CAATSA was unlikely, maintaining that it has strategic ties with both Russia and the US.

On Monday, Russia's foreign minister said the deal to supply India with S-400 air defense systems would go ahead despite US efforts to undermine the agreement.

"We witnessed attempts on the part of the United States to undermine this cooperation and to make India obey the American orders, to follow the American vision of how this region should be developed," Sergey Lavrov told ANI news agency in the capital New Delhi.

In mid-November, a State Department spokesperson speaking on condition of anonymity said the US has not made any decision yet on a potential waiver for India. The CAATSA "does not have a blanket or country-specific waiver provision," said the spokesperson.

*Kasim Ileri contributed to this story

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