India could face sanctions from the Joe Biden government if it buys Russia’s S-400 anti-missile system. Biden’s defence secretary Lloyd Austin was reportedly instructed to do so prior to his visit to India. The Biden administration has instructed Lloyd to make it clear to the Indian government that the United States is strongly opposed to the deal.
The country’s defense secretary is coming to India on Friday as the first representative of the Biden government. Even before that visit, a warning tone was heard in the face of America. The source claimed that Bob Menendez, chairman of the US Foreign Relations Committee, had indicated that the outcome of the defence agreement with Russia could be “serious” for India. In a letter to Lloyd, the senator said that Narendra Modi government officials should be informed about the ban.
The Indian government wants to buy S-400s from Russia for the Indian Air Force and Navy to compete with China. But Lloyd has a responsibility to make it clear that the United States opposes the deal. The visit is expected to focus on regional and international security issues between India and the United States. However, according to informed sources, India’s plans to buy missile defense systems from Russia could also be discussed. The United States has already imposed sanctions on Turkey for buying S-400s from Russia. The Biden administration has taken the initiative to say that the same thing could happen in India.
In his letter to Lloyd, Menendez wrote: “If India goes ahead with its plan to buy the S-400, it will be subject to US sanctions.” Under Section 231 of the US CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act), the sanctions on India can be enforced.
India, the United States, Japan and Australia, the powerful QUAD, recently met in a positive meeting on defence in the Indo-Pacific region. At last week’s virtual meeting, the two countries said their main objective was to increase cooperation and deepen strategic exchanges in the Pacific. In addition, the United States wants to reduce China’s dominance in the region.
In addition to reducing the challenges they face from China; the Biden government aims to build an anti-China alliance. Lloyd’s visit is expected to accelerate that effort.
However, informed sources believe that a defense agreement with Russia could hamper that effort. “(The agreement with Russia) will reduce the chances of India receiving military technology assistance, including participation in development work with the United States,” Bob Menendez wrote.