Published: Sun, October 07, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Kremlin confirms S-400 missile deal during Vladimir Putin’s India visit

Kremlin confirms S-400 missile deal during Vladimir Putin’s India visit

A Russian news agency also reported today that at the summit, the two countries will sign a number of bilateral agreements, one of them being United States dollars 5 billion arms deal of delivery of S-400 air defence missile to New Delhi.

India and Russian Federation will sign the missile deal, estimated at more than $5 billion, during Putin's visit for annual summit talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi beginnning on Thursday, a Kremlin aide said.

A significant outcome of the summit is finalising India's purchase of Russian S-400 Triumf advanced air defence system, actively discouraged by the US.

"The key feature of this visit will be the signing of the agreement to deliver S-400 air defence systems", Putin's top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov was quoted in media reports as saying in Moscow.

The U.S. administration is required under a domestic law, Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) to impose sanctions on any country that has "significant transactions" with Iran, North Korea or Russian Federation.

There have been indications by New Delhi that it will go ahead with the deal notwithstanding the U.S. sanctions. China has also perturbed India by loaning vast amounts of money to countries such as Sri Lanka where it has long held sway.

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.

India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the almost 4,000-km-long Sino-India border. China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russian Federation in 2014 to procure the lethal missile system and Moscow has already started delivery of an undisclosed number of the S-400 missile systems to Beijing.

Last month Washington slapped financial sanctions on the Chinese military for buying Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets - and the S-400. The missile system, manufactured by Almaz-Antey, has been in service in Russian Federation since 2007.

On Friday, the two leaders will hold the 19th India-Russia annual summit.

The Modi government hopes the Trump administration will not disrupt burgeoning defence ties with the world's biggest arm importer by levying sanctions the U.S. Congress has sought. "Looking forward to our deliberations, which will further enhance India-Russia friendship", followed by a tweet in Russian.

The last India-Russia bilateral summit was held in Russia on June 1, 2017.

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