US yet to decide on possible CAATSA waiver to India on S400 purchase from Russia: Official

Washington, November 24

The US has not yet made a determination on any potential CAATSA exemption to India for the purchase of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, the Biden administration has said, pointing out that the law does not attach country-specific exemption provisions. and bilateral dialogue on this subject will continue.

The State Department’s remarks come a week after India began supplying the Triumph S-400 missile defense system to Russia and amid calls by top Republican and Democratic lawmakers that America’s adversaries through the India Sanctions Act (CAATSA) Should not compete.

CAATSA, enacted by the US Congress in 2017, provides for punitive action against any country engaged in transactions with the Russian defense and intelligence sectors.

Stating that the US values ​​its “strategic partnership” with India, State Department spokesman Ned Price kept the Biden administration’s secrecy on the issue by telling reporters that CAATSA has no blanket or country-specific exemption provisions. Not there.

“We need to refer you to the Government of India for any comment on the possible delivery of the S-400 system. But when it comes to the system, not only in the Indian context, but more broadly, we have become clear that we have urged all our allies, all our partners, to relinquish transactions with Russia under sanctions. There may be a risk of triggering – CAATSA, The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. We have not taken any decision on a possible waiver with respect to Indian arms transactions with Russia,” Price said on Tuesday.

“However, there is no blanket or country-specific exemption provision in CAATSA. We also know that our defense ties with India have expanded and deepened in recent years. This is deep and in line with our broad and deepening relationship with India and its status as a major defense partner,” he said.

“We expect this strong momentum to continue in our defense relationship. We certainly value our strategic partnership with India. As you know, we had the opportunity to visit India long ago. I believe we have met with External Affairs Minister Jaishankar several times in August. We have discussed this concern directly, including at the highest levels of the Indian government,” Price said in response to a question.

CAATSA is a strict US law that authorizes the administration to impose sanctions on countries that buy major defense hardware from Russia in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.

In October 2018, India signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defense missile systems, despite warnings from the then Trump administration that proceeding with the contract could invite US sanctions. deal was signed. PTI