File photo: US President Donald Trump. Photograph:( Reuters )
US President Donald Trump signed the $716 billion National Defence Authorisation Act 2019 into a law.
The bill aims to amend the Combating America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) under which any entity doing business with Russia's state, semi-state and private defence and intelligence sectors could face economic sanctions.
The sanctions seeks to punish Russia for its meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections. It also threatened sanctions against third-party countries who buy a significant portion of their military equipment from Russia.
Most significantly for India, Trump's signing of the National Defence Authorisation Act-2019 will enable India to buy the S-400 air defence missile system from Russia without the threat of US sanctions.
India wishes to buy five of the air defence systems.
The National Defence Authorisation Act also cuts US security aid to Pakistan to $150 million, down from the billions it received earlier for its counter-terror campaign and assistance in the Afghan war.
The bill provides about $616.9 billion for the base Pentagon budget, $21.9 billion for nuclear weapons and $69 billion in war funding.
The bill was passed 87 to 10 in the Senate on August 1 after being approved by the House.