Modi's government, caught in the U.S. -Russia crossfire, hopes the Trump administration will give it a pass on the proposed arms transfer from Russian Federation, officials in New Delhi said.
The US pressure on India (as well as on China, on Turkey and on other countries with a desire to buy Russian weapons) has at least two aspects. The two sides are expected to hold talks on setting up a new payment mechanism independent of the U.S. controlled dollar trade. "Both leaders are looking at a long-term, sustained relationship and how to make progress", a source said, signalling that India will not come under pressure from the global community on cutting ties with Russian Federation. India is likely to sign the S-400 deal as it wants to secure the India-China border that is nearly 4,000 kilometres long. The Russian-built S-400 Triumf is widely considered as the most effective operationally deployed modern long-range surface-to-air missile (MLR SAM) system in and, therefore, much in demand. Today, upon the arrival of the Russian president, Modi tweeted, "Welcome to India, President Putin".
"We urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russian Federation that would trigger sanctions under CAATSA", a State Department Spokesperson told PTI when asked about India's plan to purchase multi-billion S-400 missile defence system from Russian Federation.
Talking to media over the USA sanctions' reports, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said that when the government signs the deal, the delivery will be done in a period of 2 years. The US has imposed military sanctions against Russian Federation under stringent CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act). China has also perturbed India by loaning vast amounts of money to countries such as Sri Lanka where it has long held sway.
North and South Korea removing landmines along border
Past rapprochement efforts were often stalled after an worldwide standoff over the North's nuclear ambitions intensified. In the South, troops began removing mines on the southern part of the two sites on Monday morning.
The S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 systems. Moscow is now expanding India's biggest nuclear power plant in Kudankulam.
The dinner meeting comes a day ahead of the 19th India-Russia annual summit during which the two leaders will hold comprehensive discussions on wide-ranging bilateral, regional and worldwide issues, including USA sanctions against Moscow and counter-terrorism cooperation. But military kit is the main focus. While Russia has been backing India's entry into the UN Security Council, it has also fostered closer ties with China and Pakistan. Putin's image as an avid sportsman is also on display throughout the year, with photos of him wielding a shooting range pistol, playing hockey, horseback riding and cycling along a wooded road.
Moscow is also pushing for India s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group of countries controlling access to nuclear technology.
Afghanistan though has been a sticking point, experts say, where Moscow wants to engage Taliban in the peace process - a prospect unacceptable to India.
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