CAATSA sanctions against India: US senator warns against New Delhi sanctions

WASHINGTON: An influential US senator has warned the Biden administration not to impose sanctions against India for buying Russian missile defense systems at a time when Moscow has turned toxic in Washington and casts doubt on countries that do not back the Western coalition. to be seen.

In a Senate hearing on Monday, Texas Republican Ted Cruz made a startling revelation that “there are reports that the Biden administration is considering imposing CAATSA sanctions against India,” arguing that any such decision was “extraordinarily foolish.”

CAATSA, which stands for Fighting America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions, refers to a US law that aims to punish countries that used the Russian military due to Moscow’s unfavorable relations with the US .before the invasion of Ukraine. buy hardware.

In 2018, India signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defense missile system despite warnings from the then-Trump administration that going ahead with the contract could lead to sanctions. Americans. The supply of the system began at the end of last year.

Although the Biden administration has made similar threats, some lawmakers have warned that India should be treated differently from Turkey, which faced sanctions through NATO despite being a US ally, because of US interests in long term. China.

While critics of India’s broadly neutral stance and abstaining from voting in the Russia-Ukraine dispute raised prospects of implementing CAATSA, Cruz noted that India was not the only country that did not participate; The United Arab Emirates, which also has close military ties to the US, also did not participate.

The Biden administration has hung the CAATSA threat over India’s head, in part diverting it from Russian military supplies, saying no determination has yet been made on it.

“I can assure you that the administration will comply with CAATSA and fully implement that law and will consult with Congress as we move forward with any of them. Unfortunately, I cannot say that President Or prejudges the decisions of the President (Secretary of State ) on the issue of waivers or on the issue of sanctions, or whether Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will affect that decision,” said US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Donald Lu. week.

“India is now a really important security partner for us. We want to take that partnership forward and I hope that what happens with the extreme criticism of Russia is that India finds time to go further.” he added