16:10 GMT24 September 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): On the day US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in India, a top official in the External Affairs Ministry exuded confidence that India will receive essential sanctions waivers under CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) on the purchase of S-400 air missile defence systems from Russia.

    On 21 June, a US Department of State official said: “With respect to the S-400, we're urging all of our allies and partners, India included, to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering the CAATSA sanctions... This is a time we will be encouraging India to look at alternatives."

    Meanwhile, sources say that an Indian official maintains that CAATSA provides enough flexibility to the Trump administration to grant a waiver to India on the purchase of S-400's.

    “The US administration has enough flexibility to give a waiver to India on CATSAA sanctions… We believe that India fulfils those requirements and we will get a sanctions waiver,” the official said on Tuesday.

    India shares a “long-standing relationship with Russia,” and “we can't wish away that”, the official said, adding that the US is well “aware of the circumstances that compel India to go for an S-400 purchase”.

    Earlier this month, the US warned India against purchasing Russian S-400 systems, proposing that the country seek alternative armaments of that type.

    The CAATSA was signed into law in 2017 and gives Washington the right to impose sanctions on any country that buys Russian-made defence hardware.

    Nevertheless, the Indian official maintained that Pompeo’s visit is not “outcome-oriented”.

    As per the statement issued by India’s External Affairs Ministry, Pompeo will hold delegation-level interactions with India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Wednesday at noon followed by a press statement.

    US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are also scheduled to meet on the sidelines of G-20 annual summit in Osaka, Japan later this month.

    India signed a $5.43 billion deal to purchase five S-400 regiments in October 2018. In December 2018, then-Secretary of Defence James Mattis actively promoted a CAATSA waiver for India.


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