The Biden administration is seeking to enforce or lift sanctions against India for its purchase of the S-400 Triumf missile defense system from Russia under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), it said Wednesday. US diplomat Donald Lu (local time). ).
Lu’s remarks came as India drew criticism from U.S. lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, during a hearing on the ‘US relationship with India’ for being among 35 nations that stood abstained on Wednesday in a UN vote to rebuke Russia’s invasion.
A concern that emerged repeatedly during the hearing was the cooperation between India and the United States on defense security and whether India would be sanctioned for its purchase of the defense system. anti-missile S-400 Triumf to Russia, within the framework of CAATSA.
Lu said the Biden administration has yet to decide whether to apply sanctions against India under CAATSA.
“What I can say is that India is a very important security partner for us now and we appreciate taking this partnership forward,” he said.
As the United States strengthens ties with India as a key regional counterweight to China, the Biden administration has delayed enforcement of a law ordering sanctions against India for its trade with Russia.
India has been the largest importer of Russian weapons since 2016. Lu told the Sun panel that India had recently canceled orders for Russian MiG-29 fighter jets, helicopters and anti-tank weapons, and he predicted that the new sanctions would motivate other countries to do the same.
He told lawmakers that Russia was unlikely to be able to secure new sales or service customers for existing systems.
“I think it will be very difficult for anyone to buy major weapons systems from Moscow in the months and years to come, given the sweeping financial sanctions that the administration, with the support of Congress, has imposed. … I guess India is one of those countries that are worried about it,” Lu added.
Notably, the results of the votes displayed on the screens of the United Nations General Assembly showed that 141 nations voted in favor of the decision condemning the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and five nations were against, 35 countries, including India, having abstained.
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