India may try to invoke legacy issue while dealing with Russia to avoid sanctions
New Delhi, Oct 4: Amid the Trump administration threatening to imposed sanctions on India and Russia under Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), India will have to go ahead with the deal by putting forth the legacy issue with Russia. CAATSA was signed into law in August, 2017 on China purchasing fighter jets and missile defense system from Russia.
Sources say that the government is likely to invoke issue of legacy with the US on the issue of CAATSA against India which is the most dangerous thing for any country as any country buying arms and ammunition with Russia or for that matter any other thing that the United States does not feel good about it, the country will have to face the US sanctions along with Russia.
Former foreign secretary Shashank said, "Any country dealing with Russia will have to face US sanctions. India too will have to face the heat of these sanctions but India can save itself on two counts first that the US has given some discretionary power to its President so some relaxation might be sought from there. But it must also be taken into account that people in the US are not ready to accept this easily. Second there is a legacy issue in case of India dealing with Russia from where the country has been buying arms and ammunition since the time of independence. However, if you keep buying new arms and ammunition that they might not accept."
So India must need to play its legacy card issue with all dexterity that the US has accepted in this law. "So we must try to put everything between India and Russia happening under legacy clause and must play diplomatically very well," said Shashank. Sources said that it is not just India and Russia relations that needs to be handled carefully in view of US sanctions but as far as relations with Iran is concerned, "We must put it as a trilateral cooperation to among India, Iran and Afghanistan to stabilize Afghanistan which is also the priority of Americans. Moreover the US is in such a situation where there are lots of internal differences creeping up in the country between the common people and the US administration that even if they try to help India out, they are facing huge resistance." said sources. The US praises India being a good friend but they won't be able to do much against the Congressional resolution due to the America First Policy for other countries. In such a situation India needs to play very cautiously in view of dealing such issues.