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U.S. expresses concerns about India-Russia S-400 deal

People walk past Russian S-400 missile air defence systems before the military parade to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad in World War II, in the city of Volgograd, Russia on February 2, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The U.S. has serious reservations about Russia’s S-400 missile system and India moving ahead with the deal could complicate high technology cooperation, Chairman of the U.S. Arms Service Committee Mac Thornberry said on Monday.

“There is a lot of concern in the U.S., in both the administration and the Congress, over the S-400 system. There is concern that any country and not just India that acquires that system will complicate our ability to work towards interoperability together,” Mr. Thornberry said in an interaction with a group of journalists.

He said these concerns were separate from any sanctions and legislation that the U.S. has imposed on Russia. Mr. Thornberry is in India with a Congressional delegation en route the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore.

Earlier this month, India and Russia concluded commercial negotiations for the purchase of five S-400 Surface-to-Air Missile systems estimated at over ₹39,000 crore.

The deal is expected to be announced later this year.

Legislation

On the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), that the U.S. passed earlier this year against Russian entities, which could affect India’s arms purchases from Russia, Mr. Thornberry said Washington was incorporating additional flexibilities to help its partners and allies.

“There is understanding in the Administration and the Congress that additional flexibility in that law is needed. I think there will be some additional flexibility that is granted. It is not just India that is in that situation. There are other nations as well,” he stated.

Earlier U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had urged the Congress to provide the necessary waiver so that it does not impact countries for which it is not intended.

India has been in hectic discussions with the U.S. as well as Russia to offset any impact of the legislation as the Indian military operates a large inventory of Russian equipment.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 8:49:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/us-expresses-concerns-about-india-russia-s-400-deal/article24021452.ece

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