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US Senator seeks clarity from Biden Administration on CAATSA sanctions waiver to India

“In South and Central Asia, we need clarity on whether the administration will waive CAATSA sanctions for India’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system and what role, if so, are they going to continue to play in the QUAD,” said Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

April 27, 2022 / 07:43 AM IST
At the meeting, Modi also talked about India's humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

At the meeting, Modi also talked about India's humanitarian aid to Ukraine. "We have also placed importance on the safety of civilian people in Ukraine and the uninterrupted supply of humanitarian aid to them and which you have just mentioned in the beginning," Modi said. "On our behalf, we have sent medicines and other relief materials to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. And on the demand of Ukraine we are sending another consignment of medicines very soon," he said. The prime minister also referred to Biden's slogan at the very beginning of his that 'democracies can deliver'. "The success of India-US partnership is the best way to make this slogan meaningful," he said. Referring to the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, Modi said he was confident that India-US friendship will be an integral part of India's development journey for the next 25 years. "In September last year, when I came to Washington, and which you have just mentioned, you said that the India-US partnership can contribute to resolving many global problems. I completely agree with you," Modi said. "As the world's two largest and oldest democracies, we are natural partners," he said. Energy imports from Russia are not banned and do not violate the US' sanctions amid the war in Ukraine, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press conference on Monday. This came shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden held a virtual meeting. Asked if Joe Biden had asked India to limit its energy imports from Russia during the meeting, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded, "Energy imports are not banned and they do not violate our sanctions. We certainly recognise that every country is going to take a step in their interest." "It [India's oil imports from Russia] is only 1-2 per cent at this point in time, they export 10 per cent from the US. It is no violation of any sanctions or anything along those lines," she said. However, she added that Joe Biden had told PM Modi during the meeting that it was not in India's interest to increase every import from Russia, as per a report by ANI news agency.


A powerful Democratic Senator on Tuesday sought clarity from the Biden Administration on CAATSA sanctions waiver to India on purchase of S-400 missile defence system from Russia.

“In South and Central Asia, we need clarity on whether the administration will waive CAATSA sanctions for India’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system and what role, if so, are they going to continue to play in the QUAD,” said Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


Menendez, a Democratic Senator from the State of New Jersey, said this in his opening remarks during the Committee’s hearing on the annual budgetary proposals of the State Department by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was brought in 2017, provides for punitive actions against any country engaged in transactions with Russian defence and intelligence sectors.

In October 2018, India had signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, despite a warning from the then Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanctions.

The US has already imposed sanctions on Turkey under the CAATSA for the purchase of a batch of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia.

Following the US sanctions on Turkey over the procurement of S-400 missile systems, there were apprehensions that Washington may impose similar punitive measures on India.

Close

Menendez said that he would like to hear the administration’s plans for countries in NATO eastern flank and for Taiwan, for that fact, which is facing a similar threat from China.

“Whether it is Japan, South Korea, or Australia, when it comes to countering China, a strong alliance with our partners is vital. Xi Jinping’s hyper nationalism is more assertive around the globe than ever before,” he said.

“The State Department must work on a pragmatic appraisal of how to best combat China’s predatory economic and trade practices so we have the ability to outcompete China in the generation ahead, bilaterally and through robust presence and action in regional and international institutions,” the Senator said.



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PTI
first published: Apr 27, 2022 07:45 am
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