The US Congress has clinched an agreement that may allow India to avoid Washington's sanctions over its arms deals with Russia, Reuters cited business sources as saying on Thursday.
Under the agreement, India will get a waiver from President Trump if the US administration certifies that New Delhi is reducing arms imports from Russia and is expanding defense collaboration with Washington.
While the sources said that New Delhi met both conditions, the Indian government declined to comment on the bill, which is due to be signed into law by US President Trump after a spate of amendments to the document are approved by US congressmen.
Earlier this month, Russia's ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, told Sputnik that US sanctions against Russian companies had no major impact on Moscow-New Delhi defense industry cooperation, including negotiations on the supply of Russia's S-400 Triumf air defense systems to the South Asian country.
The statement came after Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Moscow and New Delhi had reached the final stage in talks on the delivery of the S-400 systems to India.
William Thornberry, chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee, for his part, warned that India's decision to purchase the missile systems from Russia could cost New Delhi access to sophisticated US military equipment, including Predator drones for surveillance and reconnaissance missions, which could be used in anti-terror operations in Pakistan.new sanctions on Russia under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) over Moscow's alleged global destabilization efforts.
The sanctions target senior government officials and lawmakers, as well as state-owned and private companies, including Russian military equipment exporter Rosoboronexport.
Under the CAATSA, any third party that carries out major transactions with a sanctioned company is liable to punitive measures.