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US Threat to India on S-400 Purchase Has Turkish Link - ORF Analyst

The re-emergence of the prospect of India being sanctioned under CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) “may be construed as a matter of the Americans further conveying its resolve against Turkey's purchase of the same”, an Indian analyst has observed.

The US threat to India of "serious implications" under the CAATSA has once again been reignited. It is mainly due to the US' contention with Turkey also purchasing the S-400 air defence missile system from Russia, according to an analyst. According to Kashish Parpiani, a Research Fellow at Observer Research Foundation's Mumbai Centre, the Government of India must guard its interests as Washington attempts to rein in Ankara.

"Although recent US actions like Turkey's suspension from the F-35 programme have conveyed American resolve to Ankara over it opting for the Russian system over the US-made Patriot Air Defence System, Washington's tacit exception for India may raise questions over its credibility," Parpiani, who has keen interest on US grand strategy and US civil — military relations, observed.



Washington has been pressuring Ankara to abandon its purchase plan of S-400 SAMs which it inked an agreement with Russia in December 2017. The US has threatened to halt the delivery of F-35 jets ordered by Turkey and even to boot it out of NATO, if it doesn't follow the demands.
"The US seems to be attempting to ensure that its tacit exception to India does not hamper its attempts rein in Turkey. In the past, there has been evidence of the US facing foreign policy challenges owing to its exceptions for India," Parpiani added.

Last October, India, citing its national security requirement, had inked the $5.43 billion deal with Russia despite threat from the US side. Since then, the contention between the two countries over the purchase stood dampened as India hailed the decision as a sign of it pursuing "an independent policy".

Besides courting influential US legislators like Dan Sullivan to grant the waiver, the Indian analyst advocated to "lobby for another legislative amendment of resting the authority to grant waivers with the US Secretary of State — known to have led the advocacy of instituting the waiver provision for India, instead of the US President".

Last July, "modified waiver authority", or amendment to Section 231 of CAATSA proposed by Congress, allowed the President to waive sanctions in certain circumstances, for six months at a time to the US allies like India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The first S-400 system is expected to join the Indian Air Force in October 2020 while the remaining four will arrive by 2023. The SAM system can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 Km.

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