Indian Lawmaker: US Will “Expel” India from Quad if Delhi Buys Russia’s S-400 Systems
By Staff, Agencies
Subramanian Swamy, a senior lawmaker from India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP], on Thursday cautioned that the US would "expel" New Delhi from the "Quad" alliance, which includes the US, India, Japan, and Australia, if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government goes ahead with the proposed purchase of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.
The warning by the veteran Indian MP comes days after US War Secretary Lloyd Austin hinted that India could face sanctions over its proposed purchase of the state-of-the-art Russian air defence systems.
"… we have countries that we work with from time to time that have Soviet or excuse me Russian equipment that they acquired over the years and we certainly urge all our allies and partners to move away from Soviet or excuse me Russian equipment. In some cases it was Soviet equipment because they bought it so long ago", Austin said during a press conference in New Delhi last week.
He was asked if the Biden administration could invoke sanctions against India under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act [CAATSA], a 2017 piece of US legislation targeting government and private entities specifically engaged in defense deals with Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
"But to move away from that and really avoid any kind of acquisitions that would trigger sanctions on our behalf", stated Austin, adding that he did discuss the prospect of American sanctions against New Delhi during a meeting with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh.
In spite of the specter of CAATSA sanctions, New Delhi has so far publicly resisted American pressure over the $5.43 billion defense deal.
The state-of-the-art S-400 "Triumf" air defense missile systems, touted as the most advanced of its kind in the world, are an export-quality defense product and are said to possess the capability of shooting down incoming enemy aircraft, missiles, and drones within an approximate range of 400 kilometers.
New Delhi is set to receive its first batch of the five ordered S-400 systems from Russia towards the end of 2021.
Besides Russia, only China and Turkey possess the S-400 missile systems to date.