Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

US, Chinese unease as Putin seeks India arms deals

Serbian president arrives in Moscow after Kosovo border crisis Vladimir Putin
Andrew Cummings | 05 October, 2018, 05:16

Moscow has been negotiating to sell the S-400 long-range surface-to-air missiles to India for months.

India and Russian Federation will sign the missile deal, estimated at more than $5 billion, during Putin's visit for annual summit talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi beginning on Thursday, a Kremlin aide said. But for many decades its main source of military equipment was the Soviet Union, and to this day about 70 percent of Indian equipment is of Russian origin.

He called Russia's military relationship with India "traditional and long-standing".

All eyes will be on the defence agreements for the S-400 missile defence system +, frigates and assault rifles.

"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. "With the US" domestic legislation discouraging countries like India from engaging in "significant' trade with Russian Federation, there is a high-visibility political sub-text about how this deal will impact the India-US bi-lateral", said Commodore (retired) Uday Bhaskar, Director at Society for Policy Studies.

The Russian leader will also interact with a group of children and will address an India-Russia business meet.

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.

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And make it plain that the way both are behaving demonstrates that neither are really on Manchester United's side either. United is off to its worst start in 28 years with 10 points through seven matches.

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After Antoine Griezmann's chance mid-way through the first half, the away side did not want to push for a deciding goal. We created a lot of chances, and if we keep doing that then I've no doubt the goals will flow.

India is expected to receive the first S-400 regiment two years after the signing date of the contract.

In recent years India has established a strategic dialogue with the U.S., and placed large orders for American military equipment, especially drones, and is even considering purchasing the F-35 stealth fighter. But India's Russia outreach seems to have had a rather insignificant impact so far on the Russia-China dynamic. "The fact is, we need to maintain strong and positive ties with both, even if the strains between them are growing".

Asked about whether Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia would raise production to ease concerns about supply and cool oil prices, Novak said that Russian Federation has already reversed all 300,000 bpd of the cuts it had pledged in the OPEC+ deal and added another 100,000-bpd production in September.

India will ask the United States for a special waiver for the purchase - as discussed by their defence and foreign ministers in New Delhi last month - but Washington has signalled there is no guarantee it will accede.

New Delhi is hoping for a waiver from the United States, which passed a law previous year placing automatic sanctions on countries dealing with Russia's defense and intelligence sectors.

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.

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