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Murthy Karanam asked: What kind of sanctions the US Congress plans to impose on Turkey for acquiring the Russian S-400 system? What should be India's strategy to avoid similar sanctions?

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  • S. Samuel C. Rajiv replies The US Congress is putting pressure on the Donald Trump administration to impose Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on Turkey for its acquisition of the S-400 air defence system. CAATSA mainly relates to export sanctions, prohibition of loans from US financial institutions, US opposition to possible Turkish requests for loans from international financial institutions, sanctions on principal executive officers of the Turkish institutions involved in procuring such weapons systems, among others.

    The CAATSA sanctions will have to be imposed if President Trump makes the determination that the S-400 import constitutes a ‘significant’ transaction with the Russian defence industry. The Trump administration has, however, held off on making such a determination, even as it has barred further Turkish participation in the F-35 programme from June 2019. Further, the S-400 is not scheduled to be operationalised till April 2020. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on record stating that the US-Turkish negotiations regarding the possibility of Turkey opting instead for the US Patriot missile defence system will continue till that date.

    The Indian Government has stated that its S-400 buy is a sovereign decision based on threat perceptions. India continues to maintain robust defence ties with Russia, even as the US-India defence relationship is on an upward trajectory and has acquired a critical momentum.

    Posted on January 27, 2020

    Views expressed are of the expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IDSA or of the Government of India.