The S-400 missile systems are likely to be delivered by early 2021. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
A senior US State Department official on Wednesday said India will not receive a blanket sanction waiver on the purchase of Russian-made Almaz-Antei S-400 Triumf air defense systems. The official also rebutted the reports suggesting that India will receive a blanket waiver on the purchase of S-400 missile defence systems. The US official maintained that there is no country-specific blanket waiver for such a major defence purchase and that there will be a "case-by-case analysis" on the sanctions mandated under the US legislation, reports WION.
India had signed the USD 5 billion deal to purchase S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia during President Vladimir Putin’s two-day visit to New Delhi on October 5, 2018.
Earlier, reports had surfaced that under the amended Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), President Trump was likely to grant a waiver to India for the deal with sanctions-hit Russia.
Moreover, under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the United States imposes sanctions against countries over "major" arms purchases from Russia due to Moscow’s military involvement in Ukraine and Syria and alleged meddling in US elections.
However, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had downplayed the notion that CAATSA could be used against New Delhi
"The sourcing of military equipment is very much a sovereign right and we would not like any state to tell us what to buy or not buy from Russia — no more than we’d like another state to tell us to buy or not buy from America," Jaishankar was quoted as saying in the Washington Times ahead of a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"We buy American, we buy Russian, we buy French, we buy Israeli," Jaishankar said. "That freedom of choice is ours and we think it’s in everybody’s interest to recognize that”, Jaishankar had said.
According to Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, the S-400 missile systems are likely to be delivered by early 2021. According to defenseworld.net report, the maximum target speed that S-400 can notch up to is 4.8 kilometres per second. The S-400 has an operational range of 400 kms which makes it one of the best defence systems of its class.