US sanctions won’t affect S-400 deal: Russian envoy

US sanctions won’t affect S-400 deal: Russian envoy
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New Delhi: With India primed to acquire S-400 defence equipment, Russian ambassador to India, Nikolai Kudashev, clarified that the United States’ (US) threats of imposing sanctions against Russian companies will have no significant impact on any Russian-Indian military deals.

Kudashev further claimed that the sanctions against Russian producers were a “means of unfair competition”, adding that the US was “pursuing the goal of driving Russia out of the Indian defence sector and its military and political space.”

“Our attitude to it is of course negative. We are ready for equitable, fair and open competition, but obviously, it is not a competition, it is something opposite to competition,” Kudashev said in a statement on the Russian Embassy’s official website.

Speaking on the impact the sanctions may have on the India-Russia relations, he said, “We remain the closest partners, and all our defence industry agreements are being implemented. It concerns the purchase of S-400s and the joint production of Ka-226 helicopters, and many other projects.”

Acknowledging possible difficulties caused by sanctions, Kudashev assured that the difficulties are surmountable, and solutions will “undoubtedly” be found.

The US had imposed sanctions on Russia, particularly for its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a law that mandates the US government to impose sanctions on countries who are engaged in military transactions with Russia.

However, Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that India would 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.

For the unversed, 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. (ANI)