New Delhi: Indian External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar said that India will do what is in the national interest of the country while referring to buying of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, which the US had objected to. He was speaking at a joint statement with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo’s, three day visit to India
The United States had earlier made it clear that it was not happy about India procuring S-400 missile defence system from Russian. This was because the US had imposed sanctions under its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against Russia. Under the act, India’s buying military technology from Russia will be viewed by the US as violation of its CAATS Act.
The US believes that India’s deal with Russia for buying S-400 defence system came under the Act and India was liable to be sanctioned by the US for doing business with Russia.
At the joint statement with Mike Pompeo, the Indian External Affairs Minister, Jaishankar said that part of a strategic partnership means understanding the national interest of the other country and respecting it.
He said, “We have many relationships…they have a history. We will do what is in our national interest and part of that strategic partnership is the ability of each country to comprehend and appreciate the national interest of the other.”
However, it is believed that the US seems to have softened its stand on the issue from Pompeo’s words in the joint statement.
Mike Pompeo said, “We want to make sure that each of our two countries is able to provide security for itself. We want India to be able to provide security for itself.”
The Indian government expects a waiver from the US on the deal because India has fulfilled many requirements under the CAATS Act.
India also told the US official about the rationale and circumstances that required India to buy the S-400 defence system from Russia. India has been in discussions with Russia for 10 years regarding the deal and have already signed a contract.