GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
With tensions escalating between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis, India, which has major defence cooperation with Moscow and also with Kyiv, faces uncertainty over timely deliveries in the near future in addition to the lingering threat of U.S. sanctions under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) over the S-400 deal.
What’s the concern?
In the past, tensions between Russia and Ukraine had considerably delayed the modernisation of the AN-32 transport fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
- So, the latest concern is that this war could result in delays in deliveries from Russia both due to their own domestic commitments as well the sanctions imposed by the West.
Overview of India – Russia military trade:
While Russia has been a traditional military supplier sharing platforms and technologies that others wouldn’t, the cooperation has further deepened in recent years.
- For instance, with the $5.43bn deal S-400 air defence systems as well as other big ticket deals, the defence trade between the two countries has crossed $15bn since 2018.
- Even today, over 60% of Indian military inventory is of Russian origin, especially with respect to fighter jets, tanks, helicopters and submarines among others, while several major deals are in the pipeline.
India had also signed a separate deal with Ukraine for eight Zorya-Mashproekt gas turbine engines for the frigates.
- Ukraine is also upgrading over 100 An-32 transport aircraft of the IAF under a deal finalized in 2009.
What is the S-400 air defence missile system? Why does India need it?
The S-400 Triumf is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM) designed by Russia.
- It is the most dangerous operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR SAM) in the world, considered much ahead of the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).
What is CAATSA, and how did the S-400 deal fall foul of this Act?
- Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)‘s core objective is to counter Iran, Russia and North Korea through punitive measures.
- Enacted in 2017.
- Includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.
What sanctions will be imposed?
- prohibition on loans to the sanctioned person.
- prohibition of Export-Import bank assistance for exports to sanctioned persons.
- prohibition on procurement by United States Government to procure goods or services from the sanctioned person.
- denial of visas to persons closely associated with the sanctioned person.
Significance of the deal:
The S-400 decision is a very strong example of how advanced our defence and strategic partnership is, and how strong Indian sovereignty is, to choose its international partners, especially when it comes to issues of national interest and national security.
Do you know about the foundational agreements? There are three agreements called foundational agreements. Reference: read this.
- CAATSA is associated with?
- Powers of US president under CAATSA.
- Types of sanctions that can be imposed.
- Significant defence deals between India and Russia.
- Overview of Iran Nuclear deal.
Discuss the features and significance of CAATSA.
Sources: the Hindu.