New Delhi: India is expected to convey to the United States during their forthcoming 2+2 dialogue at the foreign and defence ministerial level in New Delhi later this week that it is going ahead with the Russia deal to procure a batch of S-400 missile systems despite the American sanctions on countries engaging in military transactions with Moscow.
New Delhi is hoping for a waiver from the Americans for the deal to escape sanctions. US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and defence secretary Jim Mattis are travelling to India this week for the dialogue being hosted by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on September 6.
“India has almost concluded the S-400 missile deal with Russia, and we are going ahead with it. Our position on the issue will be conveyed to the US,” a high-level official source was quoted by news agencies, as saying. Sources said New Delhi would cite its requirement for the missile system in the wake of the evolving regional security architecture as well as considering its close defence ties with Russia. But there are also indications that the US has not fully reconciled with India’s decision to acquire the S-400 missile system from Russia and this issue is expected to be discussed prominently during the talks. This could also make any future acquisition of weaponry by India from Russia extremely difficult, despite India being hopeful of an American waiver at least for the S-400 missile acquisition from Russia.