“US could ignore sanctions on India for buying Russian S-400s”



Indian analysts are hopeful that the United States will keep its strategic interests in mind and speak out against the sanctions after the country receives $ 5.5 billion from the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

Indian Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla said last week that the supplies started this month and will continue to occur.

The move exposed India to punitive actions under America’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), passed by the US Congress to deter countries from purchasing military equipment. to Russia.

Despite warnings from US officials, India decided to buy the Russian arsenal and even hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month in New Delhi.

Several security analysts and former diplomats told Anadolu that they hoped the government would be able to persuade the United States not to impose punitive measures.

Read also : Russia begins supplying S-400 defense system to India

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, former veteran diplomat Vijay Nambiar said India has a long defense relationship with the Russians.

“We will reason with others like the United States that we will demand it in the light of our strategic interest. I don’t think India is prepared to accept a veto from an outside power for these kinds of things that we judge, which are in our national interest, ”he said.

A retired diplomat who has also served as a special adviser to the UN secretary-general, Nambiar said India has explained its position to the United States and if any actions arise, the country will face it.

“India hopes that (sanctions) will not happen, but if it does, we will be ready to accept, we will face it if it does,” he added.

Nambiar, however, hoped India would be able to persuade the United States to avoid imposing sanctions.

Viable relationship with India

He said the United States was aware that it needed a viable relationship with India and that strengthening the relationship should not affect the country’s strategic autonomy.

During his visit to India in March, Lloyd Austin, US Secretary of Defense, said US allies and partners should avoid Russian materiel and “avoid any type of acquisition that would trigger sanctions.”

After the news that India has started receiving shipments of S-400s, the United States again called on India not to go ahead with its purchase.

Read also : India, Russia hit arms trade and sales as Putin visits

Another former diplomat, Rajiv Bhatia, said India wanted to move forward with the Russian missile system to assert its strategic autonomy. He said the purchase also means that Russia has sent strong political signals to the region.

“It is a vast missile defense system, and our adversary China already has it, so by giving it to India, Russia not only helps India but sends a very important political signal,” he said. he declares.

Arguing that it is now up to Washington to work out its approach, Bhatia said India “hopes that, given the strategic considerations, the United States will take a realistic view.”

He said that India is expected to have the US administration give full weight and consideration to the strategic aspects and take a realistic view of buying India.

Preferential treatment

In 2019, the United States granted India a rare exemption from sanctions to develop the strategic port of Chabahar in Iran. Many attributed it to the United States’ preferential treatment to India.

Indian experts argue, however, that this is not preferential treatment.

“India is not doing it. India is pursuing its interests in a conscious and calibrated manner and India is banking on the same advice to prevail in Washington. Looking at the overall global strategy, especially in the region India-Pacific, ”Bhatia said.

Nambiar also said it was not about preferential treatment, but about better understanding India’s specific needs. He also recalled that India is not a member of NATO.

Experts said there may be no effect on India-US relations or its alliance in the Asia-Pacific region in the form of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue Group ( QUAD) composed of the United States, Japan, Australia and India.

The former head of the Indian Army’s North Command, Lt. Gen. Deependra Singh Hooda, however, admitted that the purchase of the S-400 could put some pressure on relations between the United States and India.

Read also : Arms race and new global military trends

“Will the purchase of the S-400 put pressure on India-US relations?” Of course, but the two countries need to come to some understanding of future challenges and if they can agree on how they should This will require a long term vision, ”he said.

Interest in the S-500

Sameer Patil, a member of the Mumbai-based Gateway House think tank, said the S-400 is important equipment that will be incorporated into the Indian arsenal to bolster India’s defenses against Chinese ballistic missiles.

“In addition, the S-400 is also battlefield tested equipment that will ensure the Indian security establishment performs well,” he said.

He added that the agreement restored the importance of decades-old defense ties between New Delhi and Moscow.

On Monday, Russian newspaper Sputnik News quoted Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov as saying: “India could become the first in line to buy the Russian S-500 air defense system if it expresses such a desire after the armed forces Russians will have received them in the required quantity.

Indian experts argue that the government had the right to decide on future agreements.

“Whether the agreements between India and Russia end or continue, it’s the governments that decide. All I’m basically saying is that this decision to go ahead with the S-400, shows a realistic mindset in Delhi and it’s very complimented by an attitude of friendly cooperation on the part of Moscow, ”Bhatia said.

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