“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 US may try to discourage India from reaching a deal for the delivery of S-400 air defense missiles from Russia.
Meanwhile, William Thornberry, the Chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee, said in an interview with NDTV that India’s decision to purchase the missile system from Russia could cost it access to sophisticated US military equipment, including Predator drones for surveillance and reconnaissance missions, which could be used in operations against terrorists in Pakistan.
In May, India and Russia started the work on creating a loophole, which will get around the US 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.
The sanctions list includes senior government officials and lawmakers, as well as state-owned and private companies, including Russian military equipment exporter Rosoboronexport. Any third party that carries out major transactions with the sanctioned companies is liable for punitive measures under CAATSA.