Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

India, Russia likely to sign arms deal during Putin’s visit

India, Russia likely to sign arms deal during Putin’s visit

Sources told ET that the $5.2-billion deal for five regiments of S-400 air-defence shield has received top-level clearances and would be signed at the Modi-Putin summit.

"It is a public law [CAATSA]". India is likely to sign the S-400 deal as it wants to secure the India-China border that is nearly 4,000 kilometres long.

"We urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russian Federation that would trigger sanctions under CAATSA", a State Department Spokesperson told PTI when asked about India's plan to purchase multi-billion S-400 missile defence system from Russian Federation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in India on his two-day visit and the main focus during the meeting between the two nations will be on the S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems agreement.S-400 is a powerful air defence system that can take down aircraft in the sky from the surface itself and is meant to act as a shield against incoming ballistic missiles.

Before India signs the S-400 deal, reports suggest that China was the first one to procure S-400 from Russian Federation in 2014. The United States is also concerned about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey's decision to buy the Russian missile system, seeing it as incompatible with the alliance systems. "The waiver is narrow, meant to wean countries off Russian equipment and allow for things such as spare parts for previously-purchased equipment", the official said. This deal may attract economic sanctions from the US under CAATSA, since US President Donald Trump is yet to certify the deal. The two sides are expected to hold talks on setting up a new payment mechanism independent of the United States controlled dollar trade. "The Administration has indicated that a focus area for the implementation of CAATSA Section 231 is new or qualitative upgrades in capability - including the S-400 air and missile defence system", the spokesperson said.

But Russia remains India's main arms supplier, and a string of new deals with the Asian giant would be a major win for Moscow - and a big snub to the US. China has also perturbed India by loaning vast amounts of money to countries such as Sri Lanka where it has long held sway.

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 two leaders share lot of chemistry, that was evident when Putin - impromptu - made a decision to come to the Sochi airport to see off Modi", a source said. An upgraded version of the S-300 systems, the S-400 missile system, manufactured by Almaz-Antey, has been in service in Russian Federation since 2007.

The law is created to punish Putin for the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, involvement in the Syrian civil war and meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

He will also interact with a group of talented children and address an India-Russia business meet. They are also likely to discuss certain issues of crucial importance, especially Russia's proximity to Pakistan.

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