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India ignores US warning, seals S-400 air defence system deal with Russia

Friday October 5, 2018 8:23 PM, & Agencies

Modi Putin India Russia S 400 Deal

New Delhi: India and Russia on Friday signed S-400 air defence system deal worth USD 5 billion. The two sides also signed eight other pacts at the annual bilateral summit in New Delhi.

"The sides welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of the S-400 Long Range Surface to Air Missile System to India," a joint statement said on Friday.

The deals were signed between the two countries during Russian President Vladmir Putin's India visit and despite US issuing a warning - though a guarded one.

The two countries signed eight pacts in areas ranging from defence, railways nuclear energy, space and economy. An important MoU was signed between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Federal Space Agency of Russia ‘ROSCOSMOS’ on joint activities in the field of human spaceflight programme Gaganyaan, according to a government statement.

Cochin Shipyard also inked a pact with Russian firm United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) to boost water transportation in India. Calling on Russian investors to tap the vast opportunities in India’s infrastructure space, Gadkari said India has huge potential and appetite for innovation in the field. The water resources minister was addressing the India-Russia Business Summit in New Delhi.

In the field of agriculture, a pact was signed between Russia’s PhosAgro the world’s leading producer of phosphate-based nutrients and Indian Potash Ltd. The Indian company has agreed to import up to 2 million tonnes of fertilisers worth USD 1 billion (over Rs 7,300 crore) from PhosAgro, over the next three years.

The two sides are also looking at the possibility of building a gas pipeline from Russia to India to supply energy, a joint statement said.

An MoU was also signed between India’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Russia’s SIRIUS to further the Interaction between young people of India and Russia, especially schoolchildren. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Putin interacted with some young talents drawn from AIM and SIRIUS educational centre today.

The signing of defence deal between India and Russia may invite US sanctions. However, in a guarded statement, the US embassy in New Delhi said that its intent to slap sanctions against Russia was not aimed at imposing damage to the military capabilities of its “allies or partners”, PTI reported.

The United States has said countries trading with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors would face automatic sanctions under a sweeping legislation called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), according to Reuters.

A State Department spokesperson said this week that the implementation of the sanctions act would be focused at countries acquiring weapons such as the S-400 missile batteries.

China has already been affected by the sanctions for buying weapons from Russia, including the S-400. US officials have also repeatedly warned NATO ally Turkey against its planned deployment of the S-400s.

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