“India will soon find out if the punitive CAATSA sanctions apply to them it over its USD 5 billion deal with Russia to purchase the S-400 Triumf air defence system,” said the US President Donald Trump.
The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA is a US federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia.
India last week inked a deal to purchase the S-400 Triumf air defence system from Moscow. The mega deal was sealed in New Delhi during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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.
Asked about the agreement between India and Russia, Trump while interacting with reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday, said, “India will find out. Aren’t they?”
“India is going to find out,” he said.
Asked when, he said, “You will see. Sooner than you think.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also in the room when Trump answered the question on CAATSA sanctions. Pompeo was scheduled to meet the president later.
Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis had earlier argued the case for a waiver to India.
Under the CAATSA sanctions, which was amended early this year, only Trump has the authority for the presidential waiver to India on weapons deal with sanctions-hit Russia.