Russia selling the S-400 missile defence system to India “shines a spotlight on the destabilising role” that Moscow is playing in the region and potentially beyond as well, the United States has said.
The US continues to have its concerns over India purchasing the multi-billion missile defence system from Russia. India has asserted that its decisions are based on its national interest to protect its national security.
“Well in many ways, this doesn’t change the concerns that we have with the S-400 system. I think it shines a spotlight on the destabilising role that Russia is playing not only in the region but potentially beyond as well,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Thursday at his daily news conference.
“When it comes to CAATSA sanctions, you’ve heard me say before, we haven’t made a determination with regard to this transaction, but it’s something we continue to discuss with the government of India given the risk of sanctions for this particular transaction under CAATSA,” he said.
Price was responding to a question on the implications of the Russian S-400 system to India on its bilateral ties with New Delhi given the unprecedented tension it is having with Moscow on what it calls an imminent Ukrainian invasion.
Despite strong objections from the US and the threat of sanctions from the Biden Administration, India has refused to make any changes in its decision and is going ahead with the purchase of the missile defence system.
“Whether it is India, whether it is any other country, we continue to urge all countries to avoid major new transactions for Russian weapon systems,” Price said.
The Biden Administration, so far, has not taken any decision on CAATSA sanctions. “I don’t have a timeline to offer, but these are issues that we continue to discuss with our partners in India,” Price said.