New Delhi: Hours after India signed a deal with Russia to acquire the $5-billion S-400 air defence missile system, the United States asserted that the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA was not aimed at imposing damage to the military capabilities of its ‘allies or partners’. The US also made it clear that waiver would be considered on a transaction-by-transaction basis and stated that the sanctions were meant to impose the cost on Russia for its ‘malign behaviour’. The US also noted that it cannot prejudge any sanctions decisions.

“Waivers of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) section 231 will be considered on a transaction-by-transaction basis. We cannot prejudge any sanctions decisions,” US embassy spokesperson was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Furthermore, the spokesperson added, “The intent of our implementation of CAATSA is to impose costs on Russia for its malign behaviour, including by stopping the flow of money to Russia’s defence sector. CAATSA is not intended to impose damage to the military capabilities of our allies or partners.”
“The waiver authority is not for a blanket waiver. It is transaction-specific. There are strict criteria for considering a waiver,” he said.

Notably the reaction came hours after India and Russia signed a $5.43 billion deal for S-400 missile defence system. The S-400 missile defense system would give India’s defense a cutting-edge security against any missile attack by its enemies.Washington had earlier warned India that waivers from the CAATSA were not guaranteed if it went ahead with the deal with Russia.

However, India on Friday, ignored the warnings of the United States sanctions and signed a deal with Russia to acquire the $5-billion S-400 air defence missile system. The deal was concluded during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, though both the leaders made no mention of it in their statement to the media, apparently in view of the sensitivities involving the United States that have been pressing India not to go ahead with the deal.

(With inputs from PTI)