Mumbai: US Senators Mark Warner and John Cornyn on Tuesday urged President Joe Biden not to impose provisions of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against India for buying five S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia.
India signed a USD 5.43 billion with Russia for the purchase of five S-400 surface-to-air missile systems during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in New Delhi on October 5, 2019, for long-term security needs. dollar signed. Dollar signed. Dollar agreement signed.
Washington had indicated that Russian S-400 systems could trigger CAATSA sanctions.
“While India has taken significant steps to reduce purchases of Russian military equipment, it has a long history of arms purchases from the Soviet Union and later Russia. In 2018, India formally launched the Russian S-400 Triumph Air – Agreed to buy defence systems after signing a preliminary agreement with Russia two years ago. We are concerned that the upcoming transfer of these systems will trigger sanctions under the CAATSA, which was enacted to hold Russia accountable for its malign behaviour,” the letter read.
The senators said that while they shared the administration’s concerns regarding the purchase of Russian equipment and continuing Indian integration, such transactions between New Delhi and Moscow have declined.
“As such, we strongly encourage you to grant a CAATSA exemption to India for the planned purchase of the S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile system. In cases where the exemption would serve US national security interests. This exemption authority, as written into law by Congress, allows the president additional discretion in enforcing sanctions,” he wrote.
“We share your concerns regarding the purchase and the continued Indian integration of Russian equipment, even with these declining sales. We would encourage your administration to continue reinforcing this concern to Indian officials, and engaging with them constructively to continue supporting alternatives to their purchasing Russian equipment,” the senators added.