India approves Russian S-400 deal despite U.S. discontent

July 3, 2018 - 9:40

India’s Defense Ministry has reportedly given the green light for the acquisition of Russian S-400 Triumph air defense missile systems despite the U.S. sanctions, a leading Indian newspaper reported on Sunday, citing top government sources.

After endorsing some “minor deviations” in the contract, Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman forwarded the 39,000 crore ($5.7bn) deal to purchase S-400 for final government approval, to the Ministry of Finance and the Prime Minister’s office, the newspaper report said.

“The S-400 procurement case will now go to the finance ministry for clearance and the PM-led Cabinet Committee on Security for the final nod. The country’s top political leadership will have to take a call on when the actual contract can be inked,” a source told the newspaper.

On June 5, Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that New Delhi and Moscow have reached a final stage in negotiations on the supplies of S-400.

The progress on the issue prompts resentment from Washington. Media reports appear stating that the U.S. may try to discourage India from reaching a deal for the delivery of S-400 air defense missiles from Russia, an English-language Indian newspaper wrote.

In May, India and Russia started the work on creating a loophole, which will get around the U.S. anti-Moscow sanctions, imposed a month earlier, according to the newspaper. Washington introduced restrictive measures under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) over Russia’s alleged global destabilization efforts.

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