India Going Ahead Full Steam With S400 Deal, It cannot be Trumped Or Forbidden By Anyone
Colonel Awadhesh Kumar, Veteran
Dated : 17 Jan 2021 (IST)
The miserable USA administration has been ad nauseum repeating various coercive actions that it will take against India if the S400 missile deal goes thru between India and Russia.
Mr Biden, has an immediate task cut out for him, that is ensuring that the United States of America remains united, which presently seems a very uphill task. So he and his administration must refrain from poking their nose into bilateral relationship between two countries like India and Russia. It will achieve nothing except dumping the Indo US growing friendship into the DEEP freezer.
The Indian Air Force has been referring to the S-400 air defence missile system as being a ‘game changer’. The S-400 with a monitoring range of 600km and strike range of 400km, can shoot down drones, aircraft, cruise missiles and even ballistic missiles. The S-400 is scheduled to be delivered to India this year.
India will not stop this deal because of American tantrums. So the S-400 could become a thorn in the growing relationship between India and the US if Bidden takes no action to reign in his Party and his administration.
Ever since India signed a deal in 2018 worth over Rs 37000 crore to buy the S-400, the US has been issuing threats of sanctions. While the Donald Trump administration had consistently begged India to cancel the deal, incoming Joe Biden dispensation is likely to first issue threats.
Reuters reported on Friday that the US has “told India it is unlikely to get a waiver on its planned acquisition of Russian S-400 air defence systems, raising the risk of sanctions”. This kind of frequent reporting, as the delivery time for the first system nears, too has become a big joke.
India has clearly stated that it has never sought Waiver from any entity. As a Sovereign nation, it does not seek permission from any third party for bilateral deals. Russia is a close strategic friend of India and the S400 deal is essential for defence of India. Also India is paying for the deal in hard cash.
So it sounds funny when US official told Reuters that there was “still time for Delhi to reconsider, and that the punitive measures would only kick in if the deal with the Russians was ‘consummated (missiles being delivered)'”.
The deal will go through, so the American administration should just go ahead and announce sanctions as they did in 1998 after the nuclear blast …no problem, except that American defence companies will be big losers. Unlike other countries, India does not take aid from USA but PAYS for everything in hard cash.
“Washington has told New Delhi that if India acquires the S-400, it would affect how its systems interact with US military equipment that India now has and would jeopardise future arms transfers such as high-end fighter planes and armed drones,” Reuters reported.
USA should go ahead, impose sanctions and there after be ready to take on China everywhere, all alone. India is fully capable of looking after itself.
The funniest part is that even when India makes no statement or comments on the subject, the United States keeps giving out direct or indirect statement that it is unlikely to give a waiver on planned acquisition of Russian S-400 air defence systems and instead impose sanctions similar to those imposed on Turkey for buying that equipment.
Uncle Sam just cannot understand that such American laws cannot make any impact whatsoever on Indian Sovereign decisions.
The Biden administration takes over next week and has promised an even tougher U.S. approach towards Russia. Fine, however it will be in American interest to keep India out of it.
New Delhi has very clearly demonstrated it WILL by choosing its defence supplies from wherever it wants to buy from. Traders cannot dictate terms to us, they can only State the price of their hardware.
India has always pursued an independent foreign policy. This also applies to our defence acquisitions and supplies which are guided by our national security interests.
“We urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering sanctions under the CAATSA. CAATSA does not have any blanket or country-specific waiver provision.
We have not made any waiver determinations with respect to Indian transactions with Russia,” an USA spokesperson told Reuters.
While uttering such non sense, both the USA and Reuters should know that India is neither an ally nor a lackey of USA. We only believe in friendship based on mutual respect and equality.
India has made an initial payment of yrs 6000 crore in 2019 toward the Russian deal and the first set of missile batteries are expected towards the end of this year.
U.S. officials believe that punitive measures would only kick in if the deal with the Russians was consummated. In that case we Indians believe that USA can say good bye to further ties with India.
The Americans have The option to impose sanctions, then India has the option to sign a new 20 years friendship treaty with Russia on the lines of 1971 Indo USSR treaty.