Monday 20th May 2019

India, Inks $5 billion S-400 missile deal with Russia, Ignoring US threat

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New Delhi, 05 October : Brushing aside US threats of sanctions, India and Russia on Friday concluded a deal for supply of S-400 Triumf long-range surface-to-air missile system giving a substantial boost to air defence capabilities of the Indian Air Force.

The deal was concluded during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, though both the leaders made no mention of it in their statement to the media, apparently in view of the sensitivities involving the United States that has been pressing India not to go ahead with the deal.

Nor was the missile contract part of the signing ceremony for eight deals inked by the two sides in the presence of the two leaders covering areas of space cooperation, railways, nuclear cooperation, fertilisers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).

“The (two) sides welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of the S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile system to India,” said the joint statement.

The S-400 missile deal has been an issue of much speculation after the Trump administration’s law — Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) — came into effect in January aimed at countries doing business with Russian, Iranian and North Korean defence companies. Washington has so far declined to make any exception to India by way of a waiver.

In his address to the media, Modi said that India-Russia relations are unique and that President Putin has personally contributed to it.

He said both the countries have agreed to work for a multipolar and multilateral world and work together in Afghanistan, the Indo-Pacific region and forums such as Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), BRICS, G20, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) besides cooperating in the fight against terrorism.

He said Friday’s summit will give a new direction to the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership that India and Russia share and that the decisions taken today would increase bilateral cooperation, contributing to stability and peace in the world.

On his part, Putin said the two countries have been long connected through a strong relationship of friendship. He said both sides discussed topics of international and regional agenda.

The Russian President said India always gave priority to the relations with Russia which has always been part of India’s growth story.

“It is my great pleasure once again to invite Prime Minister Modi to participate in the next Vladivostok Forum as the main guest in September 2019,” he said.

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