India Says Procurement Of Russian S-400 Air Defence Systems 'Sovereign Decision'S-400 Triumf (Pic Via Wikipedia)

The Centre on Friday (3 December) termed the purchase of S-400 air defence system from Russia as India's 'sovereign decision' and said that it is aware of all developments that may impact S-400 procurement including the threat of CAATSA sanctions by the United States.

"Government is aware of all developments that may impact procurement of Defence Equipment," Minister of State in Defence Ministry Ajay Bhatt said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

He was asked about the US reaction on the deal and the threat of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) legislation which was passed by the American Congress in 2017 to prevent countries from buying Russian weapons.

"Government takes sovereign decisions based on threat perception, operational and technological aspects to keep the Armed Forces in a state of readiness to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges," the minister said.

The minister further informed that the deliveries of the advanced missile defence systems will be as per "contractual timelines".

In October 2018, India had signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, despite a warning from the then Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanctions.

The S-400 is known as Russia's most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.

Following US sanctions on Turkey over the procurement of S-400 missile systems, there have been apprehensions that Washington may impose similar punitive measures on India.

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