Amid Ukraine war, Russia starts delivery of second S-400 missile system to India
New Delhi, Apr 15: Amid intensifying war with Ukraine, Russia has reportedly started the delivery of the second consignment of the S-400 surface-to-air missile defence systems to India.
The second squadron of the missile system is a training squadron and includes simulators and other training-related equipment only. It does not include missiles or launchers, defence sources told ANI.
"The defence forces have received shipments from the Russians very recently and it is still on. So far, there has not been any glitch in supplies for our forces," a government source had told ANI.
"However, there are concerns on whether these supplies can continue in the same manner as the Indian side cannot make payments to these Russian firms in view of the sanctions related to their banks," he added.
The missile system has already been deployed in such a way that it can cover parts of the border with China in the northern sector as well as the frontier with Pakistan. It is learnt that the issue of India-Russia defence ties figured during Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to India two weeks ago. Last month, Russia said that there will be no impact of the Western sanctions against it on the supply of S-400 missile systems to India.
"As regards the S-400 deal, be rest assured that it will not be impacted in any way. It is a 100 surety," Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov had said. The Western countries have imposed severe sanctions on Russia in the last few days following its military invasion of Ukraine.
In October 2018, India had signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, despite a warning from the Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanctions.
Russia has been a major supplier of military hardware to India. The two countries have been holding discussions on what kind of payment mechanisms can work between them in view of the Western sanctions on Moscow.
Unlike many other leading powers, India has not yet directly criticised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and it abstained from the votes at the UN platforms in condemning the Russian aggression. India has been pressing for the resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held phone conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, March 2 and March 7. Modi had spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy twice. Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Parliament that India's position on the Ukraine conflict has been "steadfast and consistent" and that it has been seeking immediate cessation of violence.
The Western countries have imposed severe sanctions on Russia in the last few days following its military invasion of Ukraine.