New Delhi (Sputnik) — India-Russia defense co-operation will not come under any kind of pressure due to the American sanctions threat, Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said on Thursday.
"USA's CAATSA sanctions will not be a pressure between India-Russia defense deals. In 2-3 months you will see deals on frigates and Kalashnikovs," Kudashev told the Indian media Thursday.
"The need for a missile system like that has been well established. Except for China, no one else has an S-400. The importance and criticality of procuring a system like that need not be emphasized. But on the issue of India taking a call for its security purposes, I think that Prime Minister Modi was very clear," Sitharaman told the Economic Times in an interview.
The US Congress has bestowed the power on the president to impose sanctions under section 231 of CAATSA. On the day India and Russia concluded $5.43 billion deal for five S-400s, the US Embassy in New Delhi stated that it "cannot prejudge the sanctions against India," while at the same time reiterated that the "CAATSA was not intended to impose damage to the military capabilities of allies."
Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to India Kudashev has asserted that the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) project is still on the agenda. But India's priority at present is S-400, frigates, helicopters and assault rifles.
"But FGFA deal will be back very shortly," Nikolay Kudashev added.
In February this year, it was conveyed by the Russian side that they could go ahead with developing the fighter without India. However, India stated that it could join the project at a later stage.