Just as the US has reservations over India procuring S-400 missiles from Russia, China too has objections to Moscow supplying arms to New Delhi. But Russia’s relationship with India is “unshakeable”, said Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center.
In an interview to ThePrint, Trenin, who also chairs the research council and the Foreign and Security Policy Program at Carnegie, said while Russia is close to India and China, it is not a country that can be “dictated to” by another country.
‘S-400 the real test’
Trenin said the real test for India from Russia’s perspective will be to see how New Delhi eventually goes about and procures the S-400 Triumf air defence missile system under pressure from the US, which continues to remain undecided over waiving sanctions for India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
The $5.2 billion S-400 deal between India and Russia has become a major cause of consternation between New Delhi and Washington. India has already apprised the US of the fact that the deal was finalised before CAATSA came into being in 2017 under the former Donald Trump administration. But the Joe Biden administration has also raised the issue of India buying S-400 missiles from Russia, and hinted at possible sanctions during the visit of US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to India in March.
“It will be a test for India — this is how it will be seen in Moscow at least — what decision will eventually be taken on the S-400 issue. Clearly, the US does not want Russia to sell arms to anybody.