New Delhi Correspondent
India has said it will go ahead with the S-400 Triumf air defence missile deal with Russia in spite of the US sanctions on military transactions with Moscow.
Referring to Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), under which the Trump administration has imposed sanctions on military deals with Russia, Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here on Friday that it is an American law and not a UN law and India has conveyed its position on the issue to the US.
“Our defence relation with Russia has endured several decades and we have conveyed it to a US Congressional delegation which visited India recently,” Sitharaman said. She said negotiations with Russia for the S-400 missile deal have almost come to a conclusion.
There has been concerns in India over the US sanctions against Russian defence majors including Rosoboronexport as billions of dollars of military purchases may be impacted because of the American sanctions. The US had announced sanctions against Russia under the stringent law for its alleged meddling in the American presidential election in 2016.
The Defence Minister said it may take two and half to four years to implement the S-400 missile deal after it is signed. India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the nearly 4,000-km-long border with China.
In 2016, India and Russia had signed an agreement on the ‘Triumf’ interceptor-based missile system which can destroy an enemy aircraft, missile and even drone at ranges of up to 400 km. S-400.
China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014 to procure the missile system and Moscow has already started delivery of the S-400 missile systems to Beijing.