The Indian government has categorically denied reports about an ongoing discussion between Washington and New Delhi on the possible purchase of F-16 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force in exchange of waiver on sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for the S-400 Triumf air defense system deal with Russia.
India had signed $5.43 billion deal to purchase five units of S-400 Triumf from Russia during the annual summit earlier this month.
"The Ministry has noted the news reports in a section of the media, claiming that the United States had indicated that India could avoid sanctions under US CAATSA provisions if it were to give an assurance to procure F-16 aircraft from the US. This is to clarify that the news report is incorrect. No such discussions have been held by the Ministry," a clarification issued by the Indian defense ministry reads.
India had sent several delegations, led by the Foreign Secretary, to make a case for a sanctions waiver, but has not yet received any guarantee on the waiver despite US Defense Secretary James Mattis and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo advocating on India’s behalf.
A few days after the S-400 Triumf deal was signed, when asked if he would waive off the sanctions against India, US President Donald Trump said: "India's going to find out, aren't they?… Sooner than you think."