S-400 deal shows highest level of trust between Russia and India: Russian official

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Moscow: Russia’s decision to sell the sophisticated S-400 Triumf air defense missile system to India by 2020 testifies to the highest level of trust and understanding between the two strategic partners, a top official of a Russian industrial conglomerate said Friday.

India and Russia concluded the USD 5 billion S-400 air defence system deal, notwithstanding the US warning that the agreement would be a “focus area” for it to implement punitive sanctions against a nation undertaking “significant” business deals with the Russians.

The deal was sealed during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday.

“The agreement to supply S-400 to India opens up a new era in the history of military-technical cooperation between the two countries,” Rostec chief Sergei Chemezov told the media while reacting to the deal.

The agreement testifies to the highest level of trust and understanding between India and Russia, he was quoted as saying by state-run Tass news agency.

“I am certain that this agreement will give a fresh impetus to strengthening and deepening cooperation in civilian industries,” Rostec’s press-service quotes Chemezov as saying.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said that as a result of the deal India, will obtain an advanced air defense system boasting parameters superior to those of other countries’ similar systems.”

Under the contract New Delhi will get five regimental sets of S-400s for USD 5 billion, Tass reported.

Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport Director-General Alexander Mikheev said the delivery of the five advanced S-400 Triumf squadrons will begin in October 2020, Sputnik news agency reported.

The S-400 Triumf system is a next-generation mobile air defense system, which is capable of destroying aerial targets at an extremely long range of up to 400 kilometers.

India and Russia concluded the deal notwithstanding the US warning that it would be a “focus area” for it to implement punitive sanctions against a nation undertaking “significant” business deals with the Russians.

Relations between the US and Russia have been strained since Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 American presidential elections has further fuelled tensions.

Washington has imposed sanctions on several Russian firms. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act was introduced in 2017 to target Russia, Iran and North Korea with economic and political sanctions. It also prohibits any country from signing defence deals with these nations.

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