India, Russia sign $5.43 billion S-400 missile deal

India, Russia sign $5.43 billion S-400 missile deal

India, Russia sign $5.43 billion S-400 missile deal

India has agreed a deal with Russian Federation to buy S-400 surface to air missile systems, disregarding U.S. warnings that such a purchase could trigger sanctions.

Putin said that Russian Federation places a top priority on its India relationship and the two countries had concurrent positions on key global issues. The S-400 has three components - the missile launchers themselves, a powerful radar and a command centre.

Vladimir Putin met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a showdown summit in New Dehli on Thursday, with analysts warning the deal risks incurring Donald Trump's fury.

"I do not think that India would succumb to US pressure over the purchasing of the armaments from Russian Federation", he said. India is much too important and a huge defence market for USA to let go off over one deal is how this former Indian diplomat puts it.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has characterized the missile deal as "maybe the thorniest problem now bedeviling US-India strategic partnership".

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi Although there was no public signing, the deal was sealed during President Vladimir Putin's ongoing visit to New Delhi for an annual summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Trump could provide India with an exception to this rule, but that could open the door for other nations to demand that they also deserve exceptions. "We can not prejudge any sanctions decisions", Lee added. "Russia has always been with us in the development journey of India".

New Delhi is expected to request a special waiver from the USA for the purchase, but it remains unclear whether the Trump administration, which believes the S-400 could access sensitive military technology, will accede.

Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile systems will reportedly cost India more than $5 billion.

Other agreements - following a meeting between Putin and Prime Modi that began with a hug - were in railways and fertilisers and space, with Russian Federation undertaking to train astronauts for India´s first crewed space mission in 2022.

India's decision to negotiate with Moscow flies in the face of the United States imposing sanctions on countries buying Russian military hardware, as happened with China last month.

New Delhi, incensed by Washington's refusal to exempt it from new tariffs, chose to counter-impose higher import tariffs on some USA goods.

India and China had a stand-off over a Himalayan plateau previous year after it was claimed by both Beijing and Indian ally Bhutan.

"The sides noted the importance of further widening of energy cooperation between India and Russia taking into account the Indian side's interest in Russian energy assets, including natural gas, as well as in implementation of prospective joint projects in the field of renewable energy sources", the statement said.

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