- An US official has said that India should not assume that it will get a waiver from U.S. sanctions if it goes ahead with its purchase of the S-400 Triumf missile system from Russia. Further, Indo-U.S. defence relationship might also get affected.
- India’s planned defence procurement of S-400 Triumf missile system from Russia could potentially come under US sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). USA’s National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) allows the President to grant waivers from CAATSA sanctions under certain conditions
- Enacted in 2017, US’s CAATSA aims to counter the aggression by Iran, Russia and North Korea through punitive measures.
- Title II of the Act primarily deals with sanctions on Russian interests such as its oil and gas industry, defence and security sector, and financial institutions. This came in the backdrop of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US Presidential elections.
- Under the Act, the US President is empowered to impose sanctions on persons engaged in a “significant transaction” with Russian defence and intelligence sectors. The most stringent of these sanctions are a) the export licence restriction by which the US President is authorised to suspend export licences related to munitions, dual-use and nuclear related items; and b) the ban on American investment in equity/debt of the sanctioned person.
- S-400 Triumf Missile System is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM). It is capable of engaging aircraft, UAVs, cruise missiles, and has a terminal ballistic missile defense capability. It has an operational range of over 400 kms.
- The S-400 Triumf is known as the SA-21 Growler by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). NATO members consider the S-400 a major threat because of its long range.
- India had signed a $5.4 billion deal to purchase five batteries of the Russian S-400 Triumf missile system, following a 2018 summit between Russian President and Indian Prime Minister in New Delhi.
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