The United States Senates have passed a defence spending bill that is sought to amend a law that threatens strategic allies like India with secondary sanctions upon conducting business and military trade with Russia. Perhaps, the US Bill is a major relief for India and has paved a way for India’s deal for the Russian S400 Triumf.
Considered as one of the toughest sanctions from the United States, the Russian Sanction bill intended to prevent nations across the world from trading with Russia under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). On the other hand is India’s deal with Russia for world’s most advanced air defence missile systems – the Russian S400 Triumf. For the US, any nation conducting “significant business” with Russia is liable for strict sanctions and for the India, the $5.5 billion defence deal is an important progression to bolster its military power, especially with intensifying Chinese footholds in the region.
To solve the deadlock, the United States Senators passed a defence spending bill on Wednesday that bypasses their strategic allies like India by exempting them from the CAATSA sanctions. The Senate passed the conference report on the National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA) by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 87 to 10. The main intention of the waiver is to prevent US sanctions on India and its billions worth arm deal with Russia.
Now, India can formally buy Russian weapons as long as it fulfils the conditions laid out in NDAA Act, which, New Delhi suggest that they are already adhering to. Now that the bill is passed by Senate, Indian authorities welcomed the passage and believes that “this would enable the US to exercise the waiver” vis-à-vis India. Albeit India now enjoys a considerable bipartisan support from the US Senate with the newly passed US Bill, CAATSA can get caught under American political storm and crossfire towards India; but for now, the grass is green.