senators have urged President Joe Biden to waive sanctions against India over its purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defence system, saying such a punitive measure would endanger growing cooperation.
India signed a $5.
5 billion deal with Russia in 2018 for five of the surface-to-air missile systems for defence against long-time adversary Pakistan and China, with which it is locked in a standoff on their disputed border.
The proposed transfer has caused friction with the United States, which passed a law in 2017 under which any country engaged with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors could face sanctions.
Republican Senator John Corny and Democrat Senator Mark Warner wrote a letter to Biden calling for a waiver on the grounds of national security and broader cooperation.
“We believe there is a national security imperative to waiving sanctions.
They said they were concerned the transfer of the Russian systems would trigger sanctions against India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was enacted to hold Russia accountable for interfering in U.
elections, cyber hacking and bullying Ukraine.
India has made a down payment on the S400 systems and the first set of missile batteries is expected to be begin deployment later this year.
“Imposing sanctions at this time could derail deepening cooperation with India across all aspects of our bilateral relationship from vaccines to defense cooperation, from energy strategy to technology sharing,” the senators said.
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senators urge Biden to avoid India sanctions