New Delhi (Sputnik) — Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has informed that the much awaited S-400 Triumf air defense system deal is in the last stage of finalization. The statement is being seen as an indication that the payment related problems which had arisen at the backdrop of the US sanctions on Russia have been resolved.
"The negotiation with Russia on the S-400 have reached almost the final stage; we'll have to see it if it's signed before the Russian President's visit. But the negotiations are almost complete," Nirmala Sitharaman, India's minister of defense, said in a press conference on Tuesday.
— ANI (@ANI) September 18, 2018
The Trump administration's announcement of sanctions on Russia under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) had triggered speculations that the S-400 deal between India and Russia might be called off. CAATSA is designed primarily with Russia in mind, and specifically, countries that continue to use Russian military hardware and systems.
However, in an earlier interview with the news agency PTI, Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had categorically stated that India would not allow its time-tested defense and security ties with Russia to be impacted by the US sanctions on military transactions.
The Indian Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been maintaining that it will go ahead with the procurement of the Russian air defense systems despite Washington's sanctions. The issue figured during the first edition of two-plus-two talks between India and the US held on September 6 in New Delhi, but the two sides did not divulge many details about the outcome of the dialogue on the issue in particular.