Lawmakers Discussing About Impact of CAATSA on Allies: US Senator

Washington, May 22 (PTI) Lawmakers in the US are having discussions on the potential impact of a new law under which any significant purchase of military equipment from Russia would attract American sanctions, an influential US senator said today.

Senator Tim Kaine, who is on the both Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee, said sanctions like Countering America's Adversaries through Sanction Act (CAATSA) would drive friends and allies away and give adversaries a chance to come together.

Signed into law by President Donald Trump in August 2017, the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanction Act or CCTSA imposes sanctions on a country or utility for any significant purchase of military equipment from Russia.

"We worry about it (CAATSA) will drive our allies away and also we give adversaries reasons to come together," Kaine told PTI.

Kaine said both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are working to bring in the necessary reform in CAATSA.

"We are starting to talk about CAATSA reforms both in the armed services and the foreign relations committees,” he said, but quickly added that “it is premature” to say what will happen.

"But we're having the discussion about the application of CAATSA now and how it would punish potentially punish allies of ours," Kaine said.

Responding to a question on Prime Minister Narendra Modi having informal summits with the presidents of China and Russia, he said it "does not worry" him.

"Of course, they are going to talk to great nations that are in their neighbourhood. Of course, they will," he said.

"I continue to believe this administration understands how important the US India relationship is. I don't mind criticising President Trump. But on US-India relationship, I do know that they view it as very important," Kaine said.

"They understand the importance of the relationship. I mean, they definitely do," said the Senator from Virginia, who was vice presidential nominee of the Democratic party in the 2016 presidential elections.

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