India says it will go ahead with the purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system despite the US sanctions threat, reminding Washington of New Delhi’s independent foreign policy.
“India has always pursued an independent foreign policy. This also applies to our defense acquisitions and supplies which are guided by our national security interests,” said the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava in a Friday statement as quoted by Time of India daily.
The ministry further emphasized that while India and the US have a “complete world strategic partnership,” New Delhi maintains “a particular and privileged strategic partnership with Russia.”
The development came after a US Congressional report had recently warned that India’s purchase of the Russia-built S-400 air defense system may provoke American sanctions.
The report, prepared for members of the US Congress to take “informed decisions,” said, “India’s multi-billion dollar deal to purchase the Russian-made S-400 air defense system may trigger US sanctions on India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).”
Despite its name, the act has been brandished by Washington against allied nations mulling weapons deals with Russia — namely India and Turkey.
This is while Russia’s ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, emphasized recently that both New Delhi and Moscow regarded all sanctions except those imposed by the UN Security Council as illegal.