India Abroad

US's CAATSA Sanctions Will Not Pressure India-Russia Defence Deals: Russian Ambassador

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| October 11 , 2018 , 15:00 IST

Soon after US President Donald Trump's cryptic warning that "India is going to find out," about US's reaction to India going forward with the Russian deal for S-400s, Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev on Thursday said deals between India-Russia would continue regardless.

"USA's CAATSA sanctions will not be a pressure between India-Russia defence deals. In 2-3 months you will see deals on frigates and Kalashnikovs," said Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev.

"During President Putin's visit to India, the two sides discussed strategy to identify common priority areas and how to protect our trade relationship from unpredictable factors like CAATSA( US sanctions)," he said.

"Fifth Generation Fighter aircraft is still on agenda. But India's priority at present is S400, frigates, helicopters, assault rifles. But FGFA deal will be back very shortly," Ambassador Kudashev said.

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on October 7 said that India is keen on getting Kamov helicopters and other weapon systems from Russia. The statements came from General Rawat after his return from a 6-day visit to Russia, during which he held talks with his counterpart and military officials to enhance cooperation between the two countries.

On October 5, during Russian President Vladimir Putin's 2-day visit to India, he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially signed the deal for procurement of S-400 air defence systems from Russia, worth more than $5 billion, despite US warnings of sanctions on India if it continues with the Russian deal.

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The US urged its allies to not enter into transactions with Russia, warning that dealing with Russia would trigger US sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA, which was made into a law last August.

A day after the deal was signed, the a US White House spokesperson said, "The Administration has indicated that a focus area for the implementation of CAATSA Section 231 is new or qualitative upgrades in capability — including the S-400 air and missile defence system."

US has already sanctioned China for its own purchase of the S-400 from Russia.