Published by: Dev Kashyap
Updated to Wednesday, 27 October 2021 02:34 AM IST
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Amid reports that the United States has imposed sanctions on India over its purchase of S-400 missile systems from Russia, two U.S. lawmakers have written to President Biden urging him not to impose sanctions.
Two U.S. senators on Tuesday urged President Joe Biden not to enforce the punitive provisions of the U.S. Adversity Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against India for purchasing the S-400 missile system from Russia.
In a letter to Biden, Senator Mark Warner of the Democratic Party and John Cornin of the Republican Party urged President Biden to exempt India from its rules under the CAATSA in the national interest. “It simply came to our notice then.
In the letter, the legislators said, ‘We understand your concern regarding the purchase of Russian equipment. We encourage your administration to take this concern seriously with the Indian authorities. It will also continue to support Russian equipment procurement options by engaging constructively with India.
Mark Warner is chairman of the Senate Permanent Select Committee for Intelligence and John Cornin is the Senate Minority Whip for the Grand Old Party (GOP). The two senators are co-chairs of the India Caucus, the only country-specific Caucasus for India in the US Senate.
In October 2018, India signed a USD 5 billion (approximately Rs. 3.75 trillion) agreement with Russia to purchase five units of S-400 air defense missile systems. The then Trump administration warned that continuing the contract could lead to US sanctions under CAATSA. However, India has entered into a defense agreement with Russia.
The S-400 has been touted as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defense system. CAATSA is a strict U.S. law authorizing the administration to impose sanctions on countries that purchase major defense hardware from Russia in response to alleged Russian occupation of Crimea in 2014 and alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election.