New Delhi, July 14: India has decided to go ahead with Rs 39,000 crore deal with Russia to acquire the most advanced air defence system S-400 Triumf despite the United States pressure. Yesterday, Defence Minister said that the talks had reached the final stage. She further added that the deal would take two and a half to four years to implement. Sitharaman also took a dig at the US law, Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAAATSA), under which the Trump administration has imposed sanctions on military deals with Russia. She said that it was it is an American law and not a UN law.
Sitharaman said that India had conveyed its position on the issue to the US. While speaking to reporters in South Block, she said, “Our defence relation with Russia has endured several decades and we have conveyed about it to a US Congressional delegation which visited India recently.” The defence minister also told that the negotiations with Russia over to procure S-400 missile system had almost come to a conclusion.
The US had announced sanctions against Russia for its alleged meddling in the American presidential election in 2016. CAATSA gives power to the Donald Trump administration to punish entities involving in significant transactions with the defence or intelligence establishment of Russia. The United States has raised concerns over the deal. Chairman of the powerful US House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry had even said that India’s move would hamper the military ties between the two countries.
Not only the US but also the British media had slammed India over its deal to procure the most advanced air defence system. A report published in the United Kingdom’s Daily Express had criticised India for spending heavily on acquiring defence equipment rather than working towards eradicating poverty in the country.
China was the first country to seal a deal with Russia to import S-400 Triumf’ missiles in 2014. Russia has already started delivery of an unknown number of the S-400 missile systems to the neighbouring country. S-400 is an upgraded version of S-300. The missile system can destroy incoming enemy fighter jets, missiles and even drones up to the range of 400 km. The missile system is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and is serving Russian Military since 2007.
(With inputs from PTI)