Russia-India committed to S-400 missile deal: Russian envoy
(Sourced from PTI)
Russia and India are committed to adhering to timeline and other obligations under the S-400 missile deal, Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev said on Wednesday amid apprehensions of possible US sanctions against New Delhi over procurement of the weapons systems. The envoy said that both Russia and India do not recognize bilateral sanctions as they are illegal tools of unlawful and unfair competition and pressure.
"No bilateral sanction was clearly stated by the two foreign ministers in the course of their exchange. With regard to S-400 and broader agreements, both sides are committed to the agreed timeline and other obligations. This contract is being successfully fulfilled," Kudashev said.
During his visit to India last month, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin had said there was no discussion with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the possibility of American sanctions against India over its S-400 deal with Russia as there has been no delivery of the missiles. But Austin urged all US allies and partners to avoid buying Russian equipment that may invite US sanctions.
The US has already imposed sanctions on Turkey under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for the purchase of S-400 missile defenses from Russia. Kudashev said that the world order should be free from unilateral approaches, illegal sanctions, double standards, and interference in domestic affairs of sovereign states. "Collective international law-based solutions should prevail over zero-sum games," he said in his statement.
Ahead of Austin's India visit, Senator Robert Menendez had urged the US Defence Secretary to take up with Indian leaders the issue of New Delhi procuring the Russian S-400 missile defense system. In October 2018, India had signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defense missile systems, despite a warning from the Trump administration.
India made the first tranche of payment of around $800 million to Russia for the missile systems in 2019. The S-400 is known as Russia's most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defense system. Following the US sanctions on Turkey, there have been apprehensions that Washington may impose similar measures on India. The supply of S-400 missiles to India is expected to begin later this year.