Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on December 6 Photograph:( AFP )
Lavrov, who is in New Delhi for the India-Russia summit and inaugural 2+2 dialogue, said US tried to make India 'obey the American orders and to follow the American vision'
Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said despite the intervention from US, the deal to supply the S-400 air defence missile system to India was being implemented.
Lavrov, who is in New Delhi for the India-Russia summit and inaugural 2+2 dialogue, said India had made clear that it was a sovereign country, suggesting that it follows an independent foreign policy.
“We witnessed attempts on the part of the United States to undermine this cooperation & to make India obey the American orders, to follow the American vision of how this region should be developed,” Lavrov told news agency ANI.
He said the $5.43-billion S-400 ‘Triumf’ missile systems deal doesn't have only a symbolic meaning, but also has a practical meaning for Indian defence capability, adding “the deal has been implemented.”
“Our Indian friends clearly and firmly explained that they are a sovereign country and they will decide whose weapons to buy and who is going to be a partner of India in this and other areas,” Lavrov added.
The deal with Moscow has often been the soring point between India and the US, as a 2017 US law prevents the ally countries from buying Russian military hardware.
The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) was passed in the US in 2017, on the back of the supposed involvement of Russia in the 2016 US presidential elections.
The Act champions sanctions on any country that has defence or intelligence ties with Russia.
The US has already imposed CAATSA on Turkey, a NATO ally, for the purchase of a batch of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia, however, it has yet to take a call on India.
Watch | India-Russia hold first 2+2 dialogue, ink defence pacts to expand military ties
Two days before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi, the United States on Saturday urged all of its allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering sanctions under the CAATSA.
It further said that no decision has been taken on grating a potential waiver to India on purchasing Russia’s S-400 missile system
(With inputs from agencies)