Thursday, 18 October, 2018

US, Chinese unease as Putin visits India to sign arms deals

The two leaders will hold comprehensive discussions on wide-ranging bilateral regional and international issues including US sanctions against Moscow and counter-terrorism cooperation Putin calls ex-spy Skripal a scumbag and traitor
Lisa Bryan | 05 October, 2018, 07:36

Much like the two leaders spending about six hours in conversation in Sochi in May, Modi and Putin are learnt to have discussed a range of "strategic issues" concerning the bilateral relationship, sources said on Thursday.

U.S. Donald Trump's administration has explicitly urged its ally India against buying the S-400 Triumf missile system.

The agreements to be signed are likely to boost cooperation in keys sectors such as defence, space, trade, energy and tourism, among others. It is no secret that the United States openly announced that it imposes sanctions against any country that will purchase these air defense systems, and China has already experienced all the "charms" of such position of Washington. During his visit to New Delhi past year, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov had publicly called on India to join China's Belt and Road initiative and hoped that New Delhi will find a way out to benefit from the mega connectivity project without sacrificing its position on the issues flagged by it.

While all the noise is around the arms deal, if signed, it could violate the sanctions by the US under Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which is initiated by the US Congress on purchases of arms from Russian Federation. "Welcome to India, President Putin". Contacts between the leaders of the two countries are not limited to annual bilateral summits - meetings also take place at other venues, given that the two great Eurasian powers are members of many influential worldwide organizations and informal associations: SCO, BRICS, and G20. However, India has made it clear through technical presentations that it will not allow sharing of signatures of US-built platforms with IAF through the S-400 system, one reason why the U.S., which recently a key military communication agreement with India have a dim view of this deal.

Several U.S. officials have called the S-400, which several U.S. allies too are in the process of acquiring, a "significant transaction".


The spotlight will be on the S-400 missile defence system deal as, if signed, it could violate US sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) instituted by the US Congress on arms purchases from Russian Federation.

American lawmakers, however, have allowed the possibility of a presidential waiver. India also has intensified its defense ties with the U.S.in recent years with joint military drills and defense sales.

Vladimir Putin in India LIVE: Russian President Vladimir Putin with PM Narendra Modi on Thursday.

On the strategic front, Russian Federation helped India become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation this year and has backed New Delhi's long-held demand for a permanent UN Security Council seat. The S-400 Triumph air defence system integrates a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control centre.

He will also interact with a group of talented children and address an India-Russia business meet.

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