Published: Sun, October 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

India, Russia sign S-400 missile deal

India, Russia sign S-400 missile deal

The deal was signed in New Delhi during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss nuclear energy, space exploration and trade.

India quietly seals missile deal with Russian Federation despite USA warning Vladimir Soldatkin, Sanjeev Miglani 3 MIN READ NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India agreed a deal with Russian Federation to buy S-400 surface to air missile systems on Friday, the two sides said, as New Delhi disregarded us warnings that such a purchase could trigger sanctions under us law.

Officials with India's external affairs and defence ministries confirmed the deal was signed after Putin and Modi made no reference to it during a news conference following their talks. Russian Federation has been an important supplier of defence hardware to India for decades.

"The sides welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of the S-400 Long Range Surface to Air Missile to India", said the statement. India's purchasing of the Russian weapons system effectively forces the Trump administration to choose between punishing Delhi - and destroy the fledgling defense relationship - or granting the country an exemption, weakening the effect of the sanctions and opening up the U.S. to accusations of favoritism.

India's relations with the USA have also been hit by trade frictions, with New Delhi seeking an exemption from higher tariffs on steel and aluminum imports announced by President Donald Trump administration. India is much too important and a huge defence market for U.S. to let go off over one deal is how this former Indian diplomat puts it. The Modi government hopes the Trump administration will not disrupt burgeoning defence ties with the world's biggest arm importer by levying sanctions the U.S. Congress has sought.

Both the countries are also expected to sign 20 bilateral agreements including deal for the purchase of four Krivak-class frigates worth $2 billion.

"As and when the government approves it, delivery (of the missiles) will be in 24 months", Indian Air Force chief B.S. Dhanoa had earlier said.

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India and China had a stand-off over a Himalayan plateau previous year after it was claimed by both Beijing and Indian ally Bhutan.

China has also perturbed India by loaning large amounts of money to Indian Ocean countries where it has long held sway.

India and Russian Federation have been discussing the purchase since 2015. Moscow is now expanding India s biggest nuclear power plant in Kudankulam.

Deal for space cooperation signed between Russian Federation and India.

Rakesh Sharma, the only Indian to travel in space, did so on a Soviet spacecraft in 1984.

Russian Federation and India have had warm ties since Stalin died in 1953.

In talks with US officials, India has stressed its need for the air defense system to strengthen its capabilities against the might of China, whose ambitions are moving New Delhi and Washington closer.

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