S-400 and More: What to Expect from the Russian-Indian Summit?

05 October, 2018, 07:41 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Young Sergey Skripal as a lieutenant in the Russian Airborne Troops

Today, upon the arrival of the Russian president, Modi tweeted, "Welcome to India, President Putin". During his visit to New Delhi previous year, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov had publicly called on India to join China's Belt and Road initiative and hoped that New Delhi will find a way out to benefit from the mega connectivity project without sacrificing its position on the issues flagged by it.

There are reports suggesting that the U.S. might impose sanctions on India if they go ahead with the S-400 deal with Russian Federation.

Much like the two leaders spending about six hours in conversation in Sochi in May, Modi and Putin are learnt to have discussed a range of "strategic issues" concerning the bilateral relationship, sources said on Thursday. This deal may attract economic sanctions from the US under CAATSA, since US President Donald Trump is yet to certify the deal.

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These apart, India and Russian Federation aren't expecting an agreement on some planned deals due to apparent funds constraint in the defence ministry.

"We will have to see whether a deal will be signed, or an MoU, or will be reflected in the joint statement".

The spotlight will be on the S-400 missile defence system deal as, if signed, it could violate US sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) instituted by the US Congress on arms purchases from Russian Federation.

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Nevertheless, an amendment to the act allows Trump to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis. NSA Doval conveyed to his United States interlocutors that the decision to acquire the S-400 system from Russian Federation was taken much before CATSA was enacted (the act was passed in August last year). On Friday, all eyes would be on key defence deals likely to be signed between the two countries. China has also perturbed India by loaning vast amounts of money to countries such as Sri Lanka where it has long held sway. Underlining that friendship between India and Russian Federation has stood the test of time, and that the ties would continue to scale new heights, Modi suggested that the seeds of the "strategic partnership" sown by former prime minister AB Vajpayee and President Putin have now grown into a "special privileged strategic partnership". The United States is also concerned about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey's decision to buy the Russian missile system, seeing it as incompatible with the alliance systems. The following air defence system by Russian Federation is expected to transform the strategic balance ins subcontinent. India is also expected to ink the $5 billion S-400 Triumf deal with Moscow.

"The two leaders share lot of chemistry, that was evident when Putin - impromptu - chose to come to the Sochi airport to see off Modi", a source said. Quick delivery of S-400 is considered critical as China will receive them by the year end and would be in a position to fully exploit the system with the delivery of all necessary missiles by 2020.

He will also interact with a group of talented children and address an India-Russia business meet.

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