India won’t bow to America’s pressure, will go ahead in missile deal with Russia says Defence Minister

New Delhi:

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India will go ahead with the purchase of the S-400 air defence system deal with Russia despite the US sanctions for purchasing Russian weapons.

She also said that the $5.5 billion deal has almost reached final stage and added that it has been conveyed to the US that India has an enduring relationship with Russia and negotiations on the deal has been on for years.

Sitharaman made it clear that CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) it is an American law and not a UN law and India has conveyed its position on the issue to the US.The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on military deals with Russia under CAATSA.

“Our defence relation with Russia has endured several decades and we have conveyed about it to a US Congressional delegation which visited India recently,” said Sitharaman

She said it may take two-and-a-half to four years to implement the S-400 missile deal after it is signed.

The US had announced sanctions against Russia for its alleged meddling in the American presidential election in 2016. CAATSA mandates the Donald Trump administration to punish entities engaging in significant transaction with the defence or intelligence establishment of Russia.

India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the nearly 4,000-km-long Sino-India border. S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. It can destroy aircrafts, stealth fighters, missiles and drones at a 400 km range.