India expects US will grant waiver on S-400 Russia deal

New Delhi: India expects the US administration to grant a waiver from sanctions to its procurement of five S-400 missile defence systems from Russia over which a threat of sanctions is looming large.

India is of the firm view that the waiver can be granted by the US government as it meets the requirements prescribed in the American legislation on sanctions.

"It is an issue (with the US). There has been some discussion in private with the US government," diplomatic sources said here on Tuesday, just ahead of the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo here for talks with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in the first high-level contact with the Modi government during its second term.

India decided to buy the five S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems from Russia in September 2018 at an estimated cost of $5.43 billion.

The US wants India to cancel the deal with Russia, failing which sanctions could be imposed. The sources noted that the US has some concerns, which they have articulated.

However, India has "long-standing defence relations" with Russia, which "we can't wish away", the sources asserted. They said the deal was under discussion for a long time before it was signed in 2018.

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