India May Avoid US Sanctions for the S-400 Deal if It Purchases US F-16 Fighters

WASHINGTON, the USA ( – India may avoid US sanctions for the S-400 deal with Russia if it purchases US F-16 fighters. That was “informally conveyed” to India according to reports, learned

That was offered to India at the beginning of this October, as reported by Indian Express, quoting Unites States officials. The offer was placed shortly after the signing of the $5.4 billion deal on the purchase of five Russian S-400 systems by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin.

Read more: India Will Soon Acquire Five S-400 Triumf Air Defence Systems from Russia

The USA threatened India with sanctions under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) for its decision to enhance its military with Russian arms and now New Delhi has the option to avoid them if it purchases F-16 jets.

Actually, recently, the Indian Air Force has issued a Request for Information for acquiring 114 fighter jets through a tender procedure and the F-16s and F-18s are among the considered options. However, there are no guarantees yet that the Indian authorities will select the US jets, the paper wrote.

Now India has to make a choice and decide if avoiding the sanctions under CAATSA is a good option for the country. According to undisclosed US State Department officials, avoiding the United States sanctions “would require, among other things, countries to significantly reduce their reliance on Russian arms.” Under CAATSA, everyone, who does business with Russia’s defence sector, is subject to sanctioning in order to “prevent revenue from flowing to the Russian government,” according to the officials and the sanctions against India will be introduced when the country pays for the S-400 air-defence systems to Russia. The payment is expected to take place by the end of this financial year.

In connection with the above, the Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said earlier that despite the possibility of sanctions, “we follow an independent policy.”

Read more: Despite the Sanctions Threat, India Bought S-400 from Russia

In addition, on Monday (22nd October 2018), the Prime Minister of India Modi said that his government was taking “big and bold” decisions for defending the country and vowed that “whosoever poses a threat to Indian sovereignty will be answered with double the force.”

Read more: India Has Received Repaired Mi-17-1V Helicopters

India also has further plans of partnership with Russia as the country is reportedly considering the purchase of Russian guided-missile frigates and T-14 Armata tanks, as well as mutual development of next-generation fighter jets and submarines.

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Source: RT