ISLAMABAD: The Washington Post has come up with an analysis under ‘The US wants to punish Russia for election interference. India is caught in the crossfire’ whereby it said that Washington enacted sanctions to retaliate against Russia’s alleged interference in its 2016 presidential elections and that its goal was to hit its enemy and not penalise its friends.
“But that is exactly what could happen as India – a country that the United States has sought to cultivate as a strategic partner – moves ahead with a major $5 billion weapons purchase from Moscow,” the piece said. It said the India-Russia pact theoretically makes India a candidate to face the US’s wrath under its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). The act aims at panelising countries that engage in a sizeable business with Moscow’s defence and intelligence sectors. The Post said the key question that comes up now is whether Trump will grant a waiver to India for purchasing the S-400 system. In September, the US imposed sanctions on an arm of China’s military for purchasing Russian fighter planes besides equipment for the advanced air defence system. It then said: “The United States and India have drawn closer in recent years as both countries cast a wary eye on China’s growing influence in the region. But the tussle over the Russian missile system represents a case of conflicting priorities.” India-Russia trade turnover to triple by 2025, says Russian minister “From the US perspective, the sanctions are a necessary and appropriate response to
Russian interference in the US elections – and Washington expects allies to assist in that effort.”
“India, meanwhile, is keen to deepen ties with the United States but not at the cost of severing a long-standing defence relationship with Russia. More broadly, it wants the independence to determine its own approach to countries like Iran and China, where its interests may differ substantially from those of the United States.”