S-400: India will find out says Trump on possible CAATSA waiver
Washington, Oct 11: US President Donald Trump said that India "will soon find out" about his decision on the punitive CAATSA sanctions after India signed a USD 5 billion deal to purchase the much-vaunted S-400 air defence system from Russia.
Under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or 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. India last week inked a USD 5 billion deal to purchase S-400 Triumf air defence system from Moscow. The mega deal was sealed in New Delhi during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Asked about the agreement between India and Russia, Trump while interacting with reporters in the Oval Office of the White House, said, "India will find out. Aren't they?" "India is going to find out, he reiterated in response to India specific question. Asked when, he said, "You will see. Sooner than you think." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also in the room when Trump answered the question on CAATSA sanctions. Pompeo was scheduled to meet the president later.
Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis had earlier argued the case for a waiver to India. Last week, the White House had said that the US presidential waiver on weapons deal with sanctions-hit Russia is intended to "wean" countries like India off the Russian equipment. "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 had said that the CAATSA was aimed at Moscow and not intended to damage the military capabilities of its "allies and partners."
'Will take care':
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the US "will take care" of the countries which will continue to import oil from Iran after November 4 deadline when US sanctions on Iranian oil purchases take effect. "We will take care of them," Trump told reporters when asked about the decision of some countries like India and China to continue to purchase oil from Iran. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said that two state refiners have placed orders for importing crude oil from Iran in November.
He had said that India has its own energy requirements which it has to fulfill. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) together have placed order for 1.25 million tonne (MT) of crude oil from Iran. Trump in May withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, re-imposing economic sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation. Some sanctions took effect from August 6 while those affecting the oil and banking sectors will start from November 4. Iran is India's third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia.