On October 10th, US President Donald Trump said that India will soon discover his response to the signing of the $5 billion deal to purchase S-400 Triumf air defense systems from Russia.
Under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions, which was amended early this year, only Trump has the authority for the presidential waiver to India on weapons deal with sanctions-hit Russia.
When he was asked about the agreement by reporters in the White House, Trump said that “India will find out. Won’t they?”
When he was asked when India would find out if there would be sanctions, “You will see. Sooner than you think,” he retorted.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis both argued the case of a presidential waiver to India. The White House also said that the waiver is intended to persuade countries away from weapons deals with Russia.
“The (CAATSA presidential) waiver is narrow, intended to wean countries off Russian equipment and allow for things such as spare parts for previously-purchased equipment,” a White House National Security Council Spokesperson had said after the conclusion of the S-400 contract.
The US embassy spokesperson in New Delhi said that the CAATSA sanctions are aimed at Russia and are not intended to damage the military capabilities of its “allies and partners.”
Before threatening sanctions on India, the US sanctioned China’s Equipment Development Department (EDD) for the 10 SU-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018. The US blacklisted another 33 people and entities associated with the Russian military and intelligence, adding them to a list under the 2017 law.
China was outraged at the decision and lodged a diplomatic protest to the US, warning of consequences if the sanctions are not revoked.
“China expresses strong indignation at these unreasonable actions by the US side and has already lodged stern representations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing.
“We strongly urge the US side to immediately correct the mistake and rescind the so-called sanctions, otherwise the US side will necessarily bear responsibility for the consequences,” he said, without giving details.
Russia called the sanctions related to the Chinese deal misguided and that Washington’s reckless imposition of sanctions on Moscow risks global stability and is part of a “dangerous game.”
Earlier the US imposed tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminum. It also sanctioned two Turkish ministers. The primary reason of the tariffs and sanctions was said to be the imprisonment of US Pastor Andrew Brunson. However, another major reason is the Turkey-Russia deal for the purchase of S-400 Triumf air defense systems. The US is strongly opposed to the purchase of the system by a NATO member and threatened to block the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey if the deal isn’t called off. Jim Mattis has warned that blocking the sale of the F-35 could cause a disruption in the production chain and delays of up to 18-24 months, because Turkey produces some key components.
The US also continues to attempt to pressure the EU away from gas deals with Russia and keeps strongly opposing Turk Stream as well as Nord Stream 2.
The US strongly opposes any actual or even hypothetical meddling in its internal affairs. However, it continues to do so with other countries. The Trump administration, with its recent questionable conduct is only to the benefit of the regionalization of the world. The countries the US attempts to meddle, or meddles in, are forced to protect their interests and thus the Trump administration is undermining its global grip on its own.