- India bought S-400 air-missile defence system from Russia.
- CAATSA is a stringent US statute that allows the administration to impose penalties on countries that buy substantial defence hardware from Russia.
A key Republican Senator has informed the Biden administration that imposing penalties on India under the punitive CAATSA bill for its acquisition of Russia’s S-400 missile defence system would be “extraordinarily stupid.”
Under domestic legislation, the Tackling America’s Adversaries Through Penalties Act (CAATSA), the US administration is required to apply sanctions on any country that has major activities with Iran, North Korea, or Russia.
CAATSA is a stringent US statute that allows the administration to impose penalties on countries that buy substantial defence hardware from Russia in retaliation to Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014 and its intervention in the 2016 US presidential elections.
“There are allegations that the Biden administration is considering implementing CAATSA sanctions against India, the greatest democracy on the planet, a choice that I think would be exceedingly foolish,”
Senator Ted Cruz stated during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on upcoming appointments.
Senator Cruz, who represents Texas in the United States Senate, stated that the partnership of India and the United States has deteriorated in the previous week under the Biden administration.
“India is an important ally in a variety of fields, and the US-India partnership has grown in recent years. However, it has regressed under Biden administration”
Senator Cruz stated
“India is not the only country that has voted against us and against criticizing Russia,”
he said, referring to India’s abstention from votes in the UN General Assembly denouncing Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
India has come under fire from US politicians, both Democrat and Republican, for abstaining from a UN vote on Wednesday to condemn Russia’s invasion on Ukraine.
A total of 141 countries voted in favor of the resolution denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, five countries against it, and 35 countries, like India, abstained.
The UNGA resolution was identical to one that had previously been discussed in the 15-nation Security Council, on which India had also abstained.
The United Nations Security council resolution, that drew 11 majority support and three abstentions, was rejected after Russia used its veto.
“The United Arab Emirates also voted no yesterday. The UAE is a close ally of the United States, and it was a key player in the Abraham Accords, which dramatically altered the Middle East and brought Israelis and Arabs together under American supervision”
Senator Cruz stated.
At a separate Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, he stated that under the Biden administration, US-India relations have deteriorated dramatically in the last year.
This was evident, among other things, in their recent abstention at the Un, he told Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu.
“I will admit that United states and India did not vote in unison at the United Nations this week. I can guarantee you that we are continuing an important engagement with India at the highest levels in order to attempt to bridge that gap and help India understand the importance that we place on a concerted message to Moscow”
Mr. Lu stated.
Senator Cruz stated on Twitter that the Biden government was gradually realizing that alienating allies and bolstering foes is not a good way to conduct foreign policy.
“All it needed were numerous generational global disasters and wars abroad, as well as domestic inflation and petrol costs in the 1970s,”
Despite a warning from the then-Trump administration that proceeding with the contract could result in US sanctions, India struck a USD 5 billion deal with Russia in October 2018 to receive five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems.
The US has previously slapped penalties on Turkey under the CAATSA for purchasing a batch of Russian S-400 missile defence systems.
Following the imposition of US sanctions on Turkey for the purchase of S-400 missile systems, there were fears that Washington will apply similar punitive measures on India.
Russia has been a major supplier of guns and ammunition to India.
Edited By: Kiran Maharana
Published By: Shramana Sengupta