India and the S-400
In October 2018, India signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, notwithstanding warning from the Donald Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanction. In view of the evolving security scenario in its neighbourhood, India recently requested Russia to explore the possibility of advancing the supply of the interceptor-based missile systems
Why is CAATSA in focus?
The US on Monday imposed sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA on its NATO ally, Turkey, for procuring Russia’s advanced S-400 missile defence system. India, too, has ordered the S-400 systems from Russia, despite American strategic displeasure
What is the US law?
The US law known as CAATSA is aimed at pushing back on Russian influence. It primarily deals with sanctions on Russian interests such as its oil and gas industry, defence and security sectors, and financial institutions, following Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine in 2014 and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
Where does India stand?
“The CAATSA sanctions are not designed to be punitive to a partner and ally that has got a sustainment issue or an operation or maintenance issue. We’re certainly not looking to disrupt that. Why? Well, we don’t want a partner’s sovereign defence capabilities to be degraded to put their readiness at risk,” Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs R Clark Cooper told reporters during a conference call.
He was responding to a question on the possibility of sanctions on India under CAATSA because of the purchase of S-400s from Russia.
Cooper said CAATSA is designed to address new significant acquisitions, procurements of Russian systems that would put at risk anything that would be interoperable with US systems or NATO systems.