New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that India will acquire five advanced S-400 Triumf defence air missile systems from Russia irrespective of the sanctions on military transactions imposed by Washington D.C. on Moscow.
Speaking to media on Friday, Sitharaman said, “The talks have reached a conclusive stage. Once done, It will be done by about two and a half to four years to implement [after the deal is signed].”
On COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement), a defence pact that would facilitate the Indian military forces to procure secure and critical defence technologies from other countries, she implied, “It is a US act, not a United Nations Act. The final position on it has not arrived at all.”
Speaking on CATSA, (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), Sitharaman further said, “I am not saying it is choosing between the US and Russia. With Russia, we have a continuous relationship which has endured for decades. CATSA is a US legislation. Also, the two US secretaries (Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Secretary for Defence) have taken view considering India’s position.”
CAATSA is a law that mandates the US government to impose sanctions on countries who are engaged in military transactions with Russia.
The US slapped sanctions on Russia, particularly for its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The S-400 is considered as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. India is looking to procure Russia’s long-range missile systems in a bid to strengthen its air defence mechanism, particularly near its borders.
In 2016, India and Russia inked an agreement on the S-400 deal that can destroy any incoming hostile aircraft, drones and missiles at a range up to 400 km, as per several media reports.