Two US Senators have urged President Joe Biden to lift Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions (CAATSA) sanctions against India for purchasing military weapons from Russia.
US Senators and Indian Caucus Co-Chairs Mark Warner and John Cornyn sent a letter to President Biden encouraging him to lift CAATSA’s sanctions against India.
India signed a $ 5.43 billion deal with Russia to purchase five S-400 surface-to-air missile systems at the 19th Annual India-Russia Bilateral Summit in New Delhi on October 5, 2019, to long-term security needs.
Washington had indicated that Russian S-400 systems could trigger CAATSA sanctions.
“Although India has taken important steps to reduce its purchases of Russian military equipment, it has long bought arms from the Soviet Union and then from Russia. In 2018, India officially agreed to purchase Russian S-400 Triumf air defense systems. after signing an initial agreement with Russia two years earlier. We are concerned that the next transfer of these systems could trigger sanctions under CAATSA, which was enacted to hold Russia accountable for its malicious behavior, ”the letter said.
Senators said that while they shared the administration’s concern over the purchase and further Indian integration of Russian equipment, such transactions between New Delhi and Moscow were on the decline.
“As such, we strongly encourage you to grant a CAATSA waiver to India for its intended purchase of the S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system. In cases where granting a waiver would advance interests National Security Authority, that the waiver authority, as enshrined in law by Congress, leaves the President additional discretion in the application of sanctions, ”they wrote.
“We share your concerns regarding the purchase and continued Indian integration of Russian equipment, even with these declining sales. We encourage your administration to continue to reinforce this concern with Indian officials and to engage constructively with them. them to continue to support alternatives to their purchase of Russian equipment, ”added the senators.
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