S-400 Triumf Russian Air Defence Missile System one of the most formidable in the world that even the US fears could soon be acquired by India as negotiations have been concluded after finalization of financial component worth ₹40,000 crore ($ 5.5 billion) and the deal is likely to be officially announced before an annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in October 2018. The deal has also landed India in the global strategic complexities as a stringent US law ‘Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act’ (CAATSA) seeks to punish countries and entities engaged in transactions with defence or intelligence establishment of Russia; and Mac Thornberry, Chairman of the US House Armed Service has said that there was a lot of concern in Trump administration regarding the S-400 missile being acquired by partner countries, including India. Russia and India are now trying to find a way out.
As India is caught in the crossfire of anti-Russian sanctions, US Defence Secretary James Mattis has called for waiver for India though it has significant defence cooperation with Russia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also had a closed-door meeting with Mattis in Singapore on the sidelines of Shangri-La Dialogue on Saturday June 2, 2018, which assumes significance, as they discussed issues of mutual and global interest pertaining to security, days after the Pentagon renamed its Pacific Command as the Indo-Pacific Command – meant to reflect the US’s growing relationship with India, as the rhetorical shift is also likely part of a gambit to undercut China’s growing clout in the region. The first ‘two-plus-two’ ministerial dialogue between India and the US is scheduled for the first week of July, 2018.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday June 5, 2018 said, “We have very clearly explained that India and Russia’s defence cooperation has been going on for a long time and that it is a time-tested relationship. This has been explained. Sanction cannot affect relations with Russia. We have reached a final stage in S-400 negotiations. CAATSA cannot impact the relations”.
India will also acquire Six Pinaka Multi-barrel Roacket Launch Systems; 571 bullet proof vehicles for counter insurgency; 120 trawls for T-72 and T-90 tanks.
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