India defence | Indo-Russian Defense Procurement

In this editorial, articles published in The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Line etc. are analyzed. This article mentions the purchase of S-400 by India and its effects on the relationship between India and America. Also the CAATSA law of the US is discussed. In-place team vision inputs are also included, as needed.

The reference

India defence : Nearly a year ago, India and Russia signed a S-400 purchase agreement, ending negotiations that began in 2015. Although the US Congress passed a new law during this negotiation period called the CAATSA. . In 2017, the United States issued a ban against countries on the purchase of large arms from Russia. On this subject, the US said that the reason for these commitments is some military involvement of Russia in Syria and Ukraine disputes. Before the agreement was completed, many times America had asked India to explore other options, threatening the commitments, but on this subject, India clearly said that its national interests were paramount for it and this agreement was in its national interest is. In this entire development, the question becomes imperative whether the purchase agreements India makes with Russia will affect the relationship between India and America.

How important is this agreement for India?

  • India signed a $ 5.43 billion agreement with Russia to purchase five S-400 systems during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Conference in New Delhi in October 2018.
  • India will receive the first shipment of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia in the year 2021.
  • It is notable that the S-400 is one of the most advanced air defense systems in the world that can simultaneously track and neutralize multiple aircraft, missiles and UAVs within a range of a few hundred kilometers.
  • Its importance can be understood from the fact that the Foreign Minister of India said that “We would not like any other nation to tell us what to take from Russia and what not.”
  • The Indian Air Force has also supported an improved air defense system, which will cater to India’s special needs.
  • Also, one reason for the purchase of this defense system may be to increase its defense resources in view of the increasing defense power of neighboring countries.
India defence
India defence

What is CAATSA?

Enacted on August 2, 2017 and enforced from January 2018, the legislation aims to counter the aggression of Iran, Russia and North Korea through punitive measures. The Act deals primarily with restrictions on Russian interests, such as the oil and gas industry, the defense and security sector, and financial institutions. The Act empowers the US President to impose at least five of the 12 listed sanctions outlined in the Act on persons belonging to the Russian defense and intelligence sectors (important transactions). One of these two restrictions is the export license ban by which the US President is authorized to suspend export licenses in the case of war, dual use and nuclear related goods. It prohibits US investment in equity or debt of an approved individual.

Agreement between India and Russia will strengthen

  • The agreement to purchase the S-400 missile defense system has served to show a new direction to the India-Russia defense relationship.
  • It is worth mentioning that although Russia has traditionally been India’s largest defense supplier, but in the last few years, America has advanced in this race.
India defence
India defence

Many countries have been banned

  • It is noteworthy that the United Nations has so far imposed sanctions on countries using CAATSA twice and both times against countries that were purchasing missile defense systems from Russia.
  • In September 2018, the US State Department and the Treasury Department announced restrictions on China’s Equipment Development Department (EDD) for the purchase of the S-400 air defense system and Sukhoi S-35 fighter jets.
  • In July 2019, the US expelled Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program after the first delivery of the S-400 and said that the sanctions are under consideration until Turkey terminates its agreement with Russia Would have done
  • It is noteworthy that India is neither like China, with the US A bilateral relationship with India is not good, nor is it like Turkey, which is the US. Is a NATO ally and is also forced to comply with its demands. Therefore, it can be expected that India will not be banned like other countries.

How likely is it to avoid CAATSA

  • The act provides a safeguard clause according to which “if the US President wishes, he can cancel CAATSA and free it from sanctions.”
  • In August 2018, the US Congress amended this clause to authorize the US President to determine that the United States was cooperating with the government on other matters that were important to the strategic national security interests of the United States.
  • The following are the reasons behind India getting exemption from sanctions:
    • Militarily strong India is in the national interest of America itself.
    • India cannot completely end its dependence on Russia’s military equipment.

What if there is no discount?

  • Section 235 of CAATSA imposes 12 types of punitive sanctions that can be imposed by the US on countries that are dealing with any other anti-American in areas such as defense, energy, oil pipelines, and cyber security technology.
  • Also, the Act also states that the US President may impose five or more restrictions on a country.
  • Main types of restrictions:
    • Export restrictions
    • Restrictions on loan receipt from US and international financial institutions
    • Investment and Purchase Restrictions
    • Restrictions on foreign exchange and banking transactions

It is worth mentioning that there is no possibility of any kind of ban on India right now, as the advance payment has been made for the S-400 so far and the process of ban will start when India acquires those aircraft.

The conclusion

For any country, its national interests are of paramount importance and all of them may possibly keep it at the center while making their foreign policy, but no country will be able to make its place on the international stage even if it is more principled than necessary. Therefore, it is necessary that India must coordinate between national interests and international relations in the context of this subject, so that we can establish ourselves as a global power in the changing geopolitical scenario along with increasing military power. .

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