When it saw that New Delhi was just going to ignore unilateral American sanctions on Iran, US “granted exemption from US sanctions for purchase of Iranian crude “. Earlier in spite of similar sanctions called CAATSA both India and Russia concluded the contract for supply of long- range surface to air missile system during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India last month. However till date there is no word from the Trump administration for a similar “waiver” of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanction Act (CAATSA) for purchase of five units of Russian S400 missiles.
According to some Pentagon officials whether US will dare to take the next step of confronting India will only be known when the Indian Defence ministry makes the initial payment for the missile system.
“With Russia already under US sanctions, it is for both Moscow and New Delhi to decided one mode of payment. Whether CAATSA has been waived or not will only be known once the Defence Ministry negotiates the mode of payment with its Russian counterpart,” said a senior government official.
However, American officials are positive that the Presidential “waiver under CAATSA will be granted “ for not only the S-400 missile system but also the manufacturing of AK-47 rifles by a joint venture of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) of India and Kalashnikov Concern of Russia under the “Make in India’ rubric.
According to the senior government officials, as the US has nothing similar to offer at this weapon category or price, India “ will be exempted from the sanctions in both the cases”, provided no further purchases or arms deals are signed with Moscow. There is hope against hope in US that all this will force India to buy only American weapons ?
The Indian military proposes to arm its infantry and frontier forces with top-end assault rifles but has intentions to use the AK-47 rifle or its derivative in the hinterland, especially in counter-insurgency operations.
India just told the Trump administration that it followed its own independent foreign policy as it formally concluded the contract for purchase of S-400 systems.Since India has certain American systems also the National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on September 14 reassuring Washington that the Indian Air Force has the precise technical know-how to shield electronic signatures of its US aerial platforms from being shared with the S-400 system. The NSA visit to Washington was preceded by an IAF technical team’s visit to Pentagon to discuss the same.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman also told, in no uncertain terms, her US counterpart James Mattis on October 19 on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting plus in Singapore , regarding Indian policy on such issues. She will reiterate the same when she goes for a bilateral visit to the Pentagon next month.