New Delhi, March 3
A senior US official has made a startling claim that India cancelled several orders for Russian military equipment recently.
Donald Lu, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Wednesday that India was a very important partner for the US and it was for President Biden to decide whether to apply or waive sanctions on India.
India, in just the last few weeks, cancelled orders for MiG-29 (fighter jets), Russian helicopter and anti-tank weapons. —Donald Lu, US official
The senate committee asked Lu if the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) would kick in for India’s purchase of S-400 missile defence system from Russia. “What unfortunately I am not able to say is to prejudge the decisions of the President on the waiver issue or on the sanctions issue, or whether Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will bear on that decision,” Lu said.
Lu said the Biden administration was yet to decide on applying sanctions on India under CAATSA. “India, in just the last few weeks, cancelled orders for MiG-29 (fighter jets), Russian helicopter and anti-tank weapons,” Lu said.
The claim could not be independently verified from the Indian Ministry of Defence.
Lu said India’s imports from Russia had gone down by 53 per cent since 2011, while purchases from the US had gone up.
Senator Chris Murphy, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, said, “The US-India relationship has never been stronger, and the US is grateful to the people of India and PM Modi for our growing friendship.”
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