Congressman Khanna Introduces Legislation Against CAATSA Sanctions on India

Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna has introduced a legislative amendment in the US House of Representatives seeking an exemption for India from punitive CAATSA sanctions for its purchase of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, stressing that this will strengthen the defense between the US and India. ties and deter “aggressors”.

CAATSA is a strict US law that authorizes the administration to impose sanctions on countries that purchase significant defense hardware from Russia in response to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

The law was introduced in 2017 and provides for punitive action by the US government against any country that engages in transactions with the Russian defense and intelligence sectors.

In October 2018, India signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defense missile systems, despite a warning from the then-Trump administration that going ahead with the contract could provoke US sanctions. The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defense system.

While India faces immediate needs to maintain its heavily built weapons systems in Russia, an exemption from sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) during this transition period is in India’s best interest. US interests and the US-India defense partnership to deter aggressors in light of the close partnership between Russia and China, says the legislative amendment proposed by Khanna, the Democratic lawmaker from California.

The landmark amendment will strengthen the US-India defense partnership and ensure that India does not face crippling sanctions at a time when we need to build the alliance, Khanna told PTI, a day after introducing the legislation. It is a highly significant and urgent initiative to strengthen the US-India relationship, he said.

“I hope my colleagues will pass it on a bipartisan basis,” Khanna said in response to a question.

The legislative amendment says that India faces immediate and serious regional border threats from China, with continued military aggression by the Government of China along the India-China border.

Noting that India relies on Russian-built weapons for its national defense, the legislative amendment says the United States should take additional steps to encourage India to accelerate its transition away from Russian-built weapons and defense systems while strongly supporting immediate needs. defense of India.

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

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

The United States has not yet made any decision on possible sanctions or exemptions to India under CATSAA for its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in April.

The Foreign Ministry has said that India was following an independent foreign policy and that its defense acquisitions are guided by its national security interests.

(Only the headline and image in this report may have been modified by Business Standard staff; all other content is auto-generated from a syndicated source.)

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