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Will go ahead with S-400 missile deal with Russia, India to tell US during '2 Plus 2' dialogue

India is planning to convey to the US that it will go ahead with Rs 40,000 crore deal with Russia to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems despite American sanctions on military transactions with Moscow. This will be conveyed to the American officials during the upcoming 'two-plus-two' talks. India enjoys close defence ties with Russia and is likely to seek a waiver from the Trump administration for the mega-deal, citing its requirement for the missile system in the wake of evolving regional security architecture in the region.

According to a high-level official, India has almost concluded the S-400 missile deal with Russia and this position will be conveyed to the US. The US has imposed military sanctions against Russia under the rigorous CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) law for its annexation of Crimea as well as alleged meddling in the American presidential election in 2016.

Earlier, Randall Schriver, the Pentagon's senior official handling issues relating to Asia, had said that the US cannot guarantee that India will be exempted from sanctions if it purchases weapons and defence systems from Russia. The US has already made it clear that it does not want India to finalise the deal with Russia, PTI reported.

The first edition of 2+2 dialogue between the US and India will take place on September 6 during which a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interests will be discussed. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hold talks with Secretary of State Mike R Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis from the US.

India wants to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the nearly 4,000-km-long Sino-India border and this has been cited as the main reason for going ahead with this deal with Russia.

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