US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who is in New Delhi for the ongoing India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue said on Thursday that there has been no decision yet on concessions to India from the US sanctions against Russia to enable New Delhi's planned purchase of the S-400 Triumph air defense missile systems. He, however, asserted that efforts are on to ensure that India is not penalized.
"There's been no decision made….Our effort here is not to penalize a great strategic partner like India," Pompeo told traveling reporters after 2+2 ministerial talks were held in New Delhi.
Sources in the Indian establishment told Sputnik that the two countries may initiate a separate dialogue solely on the issue of the sanctions waiver.
The controversy gathered momentum just ahead of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue when Randall Schriver, the US assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, made a reference to the proposed deal on August 29 during an event in Washington, saying that the S-400 "is a system that's particularly troubling for a lot of reasons, and I think our strong preference…. is to seek alternatives."
"If they (India) choose to go down that route like I said, I can't sit here and tell you today that the waiver will necessarily be used," Schriver had said on August 29.