Russia, India Alliance and Future of US-India Relations

The strategic partnership between Russia and India has gone to new heights as Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in New-Delhi. Main objective of this visit is to sign the $5billion dollar deal of S-400 defense missile system. According to Indian Media this deal has been singed and system is expected to be delivered by 2020. S-400 is modern anti-aircraft weapon system. It has been in service with Russian armed forces since 2007. It has range of missiles which are very long, long medium and short. It can shoot down 40 targets simultaneously. Due to this deal US-India relationship has become complicated. In 2016 American Congress passed an act which is known as “CAATSA”. According to this act country buying defense system form Russia, Iran and North Korea, will have to face sanctions from United States.

Trump admission has implemented this act and it sanctioned China and Turkey recently for buying defense S-400 from Russia. President Trump has the right to exempt any country from sanctions. Due to this till now India has been granted relief from sanctions. I think reason behind this relief is convergence of United Sates interests with India. These are countering China and keep a check on Pakistan. On the other hand India also wants to upgrade its defense system so that it can maintain its dominant position in region and counter Pakistan. “According to Indian Experts this deal was very significant step in partnership with Russia. India had to take calculated risk and protect its strategic interests.”

Russia has been main supplier of weapons to India and according to “Stockholm Peace Research Institute Russia accounts 62% of India’s total weapons imports during last five years.” USA is number two supplier of Weapons. New-Delhi and Washington has agreed for joint military exercises in 2019 and their nexus is strong and cannot be broken easily. For Russia deal is also significant and it is not a small matter. Russia is also pushing for India’s entry into nuclear suppliers group. So i think USA has to act rationally and it is not in the interest of USA to lose a credible friend like India. But if USA imposes Sanctions on India, then it will be a major blow to the credibility of this strategic partnership. This situation will be exploited by Russia and Moscow’s tilt will be more towards India. Already both countries have trade of $9 billion and have plans to reach the target of 30 billion dollars by 2025.

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