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US says ‘no decision' on Indian CAATSA waiver

The United States government is yet to determine whether to allow India to dodge potential penalties linked to New Delhi's procurement of Russian S-400 Triumf self-propelled surface-to-air missile systems.

A State Department spokesperson told Janes on 17 November that the US continued to urge its allies to cease procurement of military equipment from Russia or face sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was enacted in 2017.

Citing CAASTA, the US has already sanctioned China and Turkey for their respective procurement of the S-400 system, which is produced by Almaz-Antey.

Russian defence officials have confirmed that India has also started taking deliveries of the first of five S-400 systems it ordered in 2018 for USD5.5 billion.

The State Department spokesperson said, “We urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering sanctions under CAATSA.”

The spokesperson added, “We have not made a determination on a potential waiver with respect to Indian arms transactions with Russia. CAATSA does not have a blanket or country-specific waiver provision.”

Despite this, the State Department spokesperson did point to the strong defence partnership that India and the US have developed in the past decade. In 2016 the US designated India as a ‘Major Defence Partner'.

The spokesperson said, “We expect this strong momentum in our defence partnership to continue. We value our strategic partnership with India.”

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