India has made its decision on purchase of S400 system from Russia, held discussions on same with US: Jaishankar

New Delhi has “made its decision” on the purchase of S400 missile system from Russia and held a discussion in this regard with Washington, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday, amid the looming threat of US sanctions over the purchase.

As part of his three-day agenda in Washington, Jaishankar participated in a conversation held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank. Here, the minister was quizzed on as to whether India is “willing to accept the consequences” of US actions over the purchase of the land-based missile system. To which Jaishankar replied, India has made a decision on the S400 issue and we have discussed that with the US government.

“I am reasonably convinced of the power of my persuasion. It would be my hope that people understand why this particular transaction is important for us,” said the confident minister.

Under the CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), the US has imposed sanctions against arms purchases from Russia, alleging Moscow’s involvement in Ukraine and Syria.

However, New Delhi had signed a USD 5.43 billion deal with Russia for the purchase of five S-400s during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in New Delhi on October 5, last year, which Washington has indicated that the Russian S-400 systems may trigger Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions.

Washington has previously sanctioned China’s Equipment Development Department (EDD) for purchasing Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and the same S-400 missiles that India is purchasing, triggering a diplomatic confrontation between China and the US. Turkey, a NATO ally, also upset the US last year with its purchase of S-400 missiles. US President Donald Trump hit back by ending Turkey’s involvement in the F-35 programme, though, further sanctions have yet not been imposed.

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