Namo-Putin seal $5.4 billion Russian missile deal

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin on Friday, sealed a $5.43 billion deal under which India will get five S-400 missile defence systems from Russia. The Russian premier is in India for the 19th India-Russia annual bilateral summit.

Putin is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov.

The two countries also signed a deal for space co-operation. An Indian monitoring station will be built near the Russian city of Novosibirsk in Siberia. After summit talks between Putin and Modi, the two countries signed eight agreements covering space, nuclear energy and railways at a televised news conference.

The joint statement issued by both countries mentioned the missile deal, but in paragraph 45. “The Sides welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of the S-400 Long Range Surface to Air Missile System to India. The Sides reaffirmed their commitment to enhance military technical cooperation between India and Russia, which has a long history of mutual trust and mutual benefit,” it said.

In his statement, PM Modi spoke of the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two nations. “We have taken some important steps today which will strengthen our relationship,” he said. While Putin said “We have agreed to step up cooperation with India in combating the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking.”

The S-400 Triumf is the world’s most lethal surface-to-air missile. New Delhi had already indicated that it will go ahead with the S-400 deal notwithstanding the US sanctions.

ALSO READ: All you need to know about the S-400 missile system

“As and when the government approves it, delivery (of the missiles) will be in 24 months,” Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa has told reporters.

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Under a new US law Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act or CAATSA,  sanctions are imposed on any country that has ‘significant transactions’ with Iran, North Korea or Russia.

However, the US Congress recently passed another law that could give countries like India a waiver from the sanctions, but that still has not been signed by President Trump.

Last week, the US imposed sanctions on China for purchasing the same missile system from Russia.

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