India and Russia signed the USD 5 billion S-400 air defence system deal on Friday, PTI reported. The agreement was signed in the presence of both the leaders at the 19th India-Russia annual bilateral summit.
The S-400 missile defence system deal could result in US sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) instituted by the US Congress on arms purchases from Russia.
The US has urged its allies to drop transactions with Russia, warning that the S-400 missile defence system that India wanted to buy would be a ‘focus area’ for it to implement punitive sanctions against a nation undertaking ‘significant’ business deals with the Russians.
American lawmakers, however, have allowed the possibility of a presidential waiver.
During a press conference after the bilateral meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “We will strengthen cooperation in industry and investment, agriculture, medicine, pharmaceuticals etc. A Russian railways company will help India build modern railroads, Russia will assist India in exploring outerspace, etc. For decades, Russia and India has been cooperating in the area of defence. Russia and India concur at international platforms on key issues, including coordination at UN, BRICS, SCO and G20. We will combat terrorism threats, drug trafficking and transborder crime.”
Mutual trade grew by 21% last year exceeding USD 9 billion, and this year it has been 20%, Putin said. “If we proceed moving at this pace, we will reach our goal faster.”
He invited Modi to Russia as its main guest at the Vladivostok Forum in Sept 2019.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi said: “We must continue cooperation in international organisations.”
He added that there would be an increase in their ties after today’s discussion, which would help increase peace and stability in the world in challenging times. “I can say with full confidence, that our friendship is unique,” he said as he concluded speaking.
Earlier, Modi hosted a private dinner for the Russian president at his official residence at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg on Thursday night, and both leaders talked about a host of issues including bilateral cooperation and strategic issues.
In a tweet, Modi stated that their deliberations would ‘further enhance Indian-Russian friendship.’