US Sanctions Against India For S-400 Deal With Russia? Here's What The US Has Said

by Swarajya Staff - Mar 3, 2022 05:03 PM +05:30 IST
US Sanctions Against India For S-400 Deal With Russia? Here's What The US Has Said S-400 Triumf advanced surface-to-air missile defence system.
Snapshot
  • While asserting that New Delhi is Washington's important security partner, Donald Lu said that President Biden will decide whether to apply sanctions on India or grant it a waiver.

Donald Lu, the new Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia in the US, testified before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday (2 March), on various issues related to the India-US relationship.

Among other things, he spoke on India's dependence on Russia in the defence sector and on the possibility of US sanctions against India under 'Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act' for the purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia.

Speaking on the issue, Lu said US President Joe Biden will decide whether to apply sanctions on India or grant it a waiver.

Lu, who served as the Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi between 2010 and 2013, said that the Biden administration will "follow the CAATSA law and fully implement that law and will consult with [US] Congress".

Lu told the committee that he did not want to prejudge the decisions of President Joe Biden or Secretary of State Tony Blinken.

"What unfortunately I am not able to say is to prejudge the decisions of the President or the (Secretary of State) on the waiver issue or on the sanctions issue, or whether Russia's invasion of Ukraine will bear on that decision," Lu said on the question of sanctions against India.

"India is a really important security partner of ours now. And that we value moving forward that partnership and I hope that part of what happens with the extreme criticism that Russia has faced is that India will find it's now time to further distances," Lu added.

In November last year, three Republican senators had introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act FY2022 which, if passed, would make it harder for the US President to impose sanctions on members of the QUAD for buying Russian weapons. As India is the only member of the QUAD that imports defence equipment from Russia, the amendment is seen as an attempt to help India's case.

However, the mood in the US following the Russian invasion of Ukraine will only make it tougher for the US President to grant India a waiver.

Lu also pointed out that India has been reducing its dependence on Russian weapons imports in recent years.

"What we've seen from India in just the last few weeks, is the cancellation of MiG 29 orders, Russian helicopter orders and anti-tank weapon orders," he said, adding, "I hope that part of what happens with the extreme criticism that Russia has faced, is that India will find it’s now time to further distance itself."

While CAATSA has made buying high-end Russian defence equipment difficult for countries, sanctions against Russian banks will also make purchasing ammunition and spare parts from the country difficult.

“I would think if I was a consumer right now of Russian technology, I would want to make sure that I have diversity because we will see a problem for Russia’s customers in securing reliable supplies,” he said.

Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Comments ↓
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.
Advertisement

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.