Saturday, 15 December, 2018

India signs $5 billion deal for Russian air defence systems

Putin to Trump ‘Donald look into mirror to find culprit for surge in oil prices Mike Segar Reuters
Isaac Mcdaniel | 07 October, 2018, 00:41

It is Russia's most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system and can destroy hostile bombers, jets, drones and missiles at a range of approximately 380-km.

Brushing aside the threat of American sanctions, India on Friday signed the much-anticipated S-400 long range surface-to-air missile defence system deal with Russian Federation that is expected to bolster the defence preparedness of the country.

Russian Federation remains India's top weapons supplier, and the United States is number two. Turkey also is planning to buy the S-400, despite USA opposition to the purchase by a fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member. Russian Federation has been an important supplier of defence hardware to India for decades. "We always arrive in India with great pleasure as we know that we are surrounded here in the environment of very frank friendship, business cooperation", Putin said.

India therefore could expect to gain a sympathetic ear if it seeks a waiver from the USA sanctions, but President Donald Trump's administration has signalled this is unlikely.

"Since April, India has not made any payments to Russian Federation for weapons purchase". "We can not prejudge any sanctions decisions", the US Embassy spokesperson added. However, U.S. arms exports to India rose by 557 percent between 2008-2012 and 2013-2017, according to SIPRI.

New Delhi is expected to request a special waiver from the US for the purchase, but it remains unclear whether the Trump administration, which believes the S-400 could access sensitive military technology, will accede.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Putin, who held their annual summit, did not mention the S-400 deal in their respective press statements.

"Russia has stood by India through time and has played a crucial role in India's growth story", he said.

State elections prompt reduction in oil prices
Soon after the announcement, several BJP-ruled states followed the suit and gave an overall relief of Rs 5 per litre. He said that the central government will reduce excise duty by Rs 1.5 while oil companies will absorb the remainder.

Jose Mourinho fires back at Paul Scholes after 'embarrassing' tirade
On his defenders' performance, the Portuguese said: "They tried, they raised the level of their intensity". We don't have the technical quality to build from the back.

UEFA Champions League Report: Manchester United v Valencia 02 October 2018
After the game, United's players were criticised for a lack of effort and attitude. "From the Lowry Hotel we took 75 minutes". He seemed to be protecting Mourinho, or more likely kissing up to the boss that once left him out in the cold.

However, Washington is in a hard position when it comes to New Delhi, seeking to bolster ties with India to counter China´s growing assertiveness while maintaining pressure on Russian Federation.

Sources had earlier said Modi and Putin would also deliberate on impact of United States sanctions on import of crude oil from Iran.

Eight agreements signed by the two countries include pacts for Moscow to build six nuclear power plants in India and cooperate with the Indian space agency in sending a manned mission to space.

Ahead of his meeting, Modi tweeted, "Welcome to India, President Putin".

Last year, Russian oil major Rosneft purchased Indian refiner Essar Oil - the biggest foreign acquisition ever in India - in a $12.9bn deal.

Moscow is also pushing for India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a club of countries controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology.

"Even if we do not take into account the security and economic consequences of bowing to United States demands, it would create a bad precedent".

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