The US has urged its allies to forgo transactions with Russia, warning that the S-400 missile defence system that India intends to buy would be a “focus area” for it to implement punitive sanctions against a nation undertaking “significant” business deals with the Russians.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to headline an India-Russia bilateral summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi today. Mr Putin, on a two-day visit to India, will ink a $5 billion deal to procure Moscow’s most advanced air defence system, the S-400 Triumf, risking US sanctions.

Mr Putin arrived Thursday and was greeted by Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj at the airport and welcomed by PM Modi at his residence. The Russian president is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov.

What is S-400?

It is an air defence missile system that can take down enemies’ aircraft in the sky from the surface itself.
It is also known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system, capable of destroying cruise, ballistic missiles.
The S-400 is an upgraded version of the S-300 systems. The missile system has been in service in Russia since 2007.
Why does India want S-400?

India wants S-400 missile systems from Russia to change the strategic balance in the subcontinent. The long-range missile systems will tighten India’s air-defence capabilities along the 4,000-km-long India-China border.

The US could impose sanctions using the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act or CAATSA legislation, which deals primarily with countries having “significant transactions” with Russia, North Korea or Iran.

India is also planning on acquiring 4 Krivak-class frigates from Russia, two of which will be built in India, which will be a $2.5 billion deal.

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