Days after Vladimir Putin’s visit to India, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov on Monday informed that India may become the first in line to buy the Russian air defence system S-500. However, Borisov remarked that it will happen only if India expresses such a desire and after the Russian Armed Forces receive them in the required quantity. This also comes even as Moscow has already started the delivery of the S400 Triumf surface to air missile system to New Delhi.
The deliveries are a part of the military agreement between India and Russia and the deal was signed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government. Meanwhile, the United States has threatened to impose possible sanctions on India for the latter’s military engagement with Russia.
“India will probably be the first on the list if it expresses a desire to buy these modern means,” Borisov said in an interview with the RBC broadcaster, as quoted by Russian news agency Sputnik. Russian Deputy PM also specified that Moscow would export the S-500s only after these systems are delivered to the Russian troops in the required quantity.
United States threatens to impose sanctions on India under CAATSA
In November, Washington has said that it had not made a determination on a potential waiver on CAATSA sanctions for India’s purchase of the S400 missile defence system from Russia. It added that the United States will continue to have talks with India over the arms transactions with Russia.
“We have urged all of our allies and all of our partners to forego transactions with Russia that may risk triggering sanctions under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act),” said State Department Spokesperson Ned Price on the question of sanction waiver for India.
India-Russia S-400 missile deal
India and Russia had signed the deal for five Russian S-400 regiments worth USD 5.43 billion in October 2018. The first regiment of the S-400 is expected to be delivered by the end of 2021. Moreover, Alexander Mikheev, the director-general of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, had even said that Indian exports have already completed training in Russia and returned home.
“Immediately after the New Year, our specialists will arrive in India to hand over the equipment at its locations,” Mikheev added.
S-400 is Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. The missile system was designed with an aim to destroy tactical and strategic aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, and hypersonic weapons. S-400 can also be used against ground installations. Under intensive enemy fire and jam, the anti-aircraft missile system can target at a distance of up to 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.