Russia Not To Stop Big Ticket Defence Software To India Despite US Sanction Threat

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New Delhi: Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev said that India and Russia defence cooperation would go on and Russia won’t be pressured by the threat of US sanctions while finalizing big-ticket military hardware deals with India. They included contracts for four frigates and production of Kalashnikov assault rifles,

A day after President Donald Trump remarked New Delhi will find out “sooner than you think” about Washington’s response to the $5.4 billion deal for Russian S-400 air defence systems that comes under the purview of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), Kudashev said India is “too big and too large to dpend on or be afraid of somebody”.

Kudashev described the S-400 deal as the “largest contract” in the history of military-technical cooperation with India, and also “one of the speediest contracts”. Implementation of the deal, signed during President Vladimir Putin’s annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 5, will start in 2020 and be completed in five years, he said.

“In the coming months, you could expect more deals, talks are on, this is a normal process and I hope that within two to three months…we could soon have a deal on frigates and…on the Kalashnikov assault rifles. There could be other deals also,” Kudashev said.

Asked whether it would be right to state that India and Russia wouldn’t be deterred by the threat of sanctions under CAATSA, Kudashev replied: “Yes. It was specifically mentioned by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and foreign minister Sushma Swaraj that India will not acknowledge sanctions other than those adopted by the UN Security Council.”

He added, “CAATSA is bad, it is not the way to do things…It is an instrument of political pressure, an instrument of unfair competition.”

India plans to acquire four more Krivak/Talwar-class frigates from Russia and begin licenced production of Kalashnikov assault rifles to fully utilise the capacity of ordinance factories and boost its “Make in India” programme.

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