NEW DELHI: It’s now official. India will sign a $5 billion deal to buy S-400 air defence systems during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi this week, a top Kremlin aide confirmed on Tuesday.
“The President is leaving for India on October 4. The key feature will be the signing of the agreement to deliver S-400 air defence systems,” Putin’s top foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov told reporters in Moscow.
The deal will be inked despite the US indicating it could attract sanctions, shortly after it imposed similar curbs on Chinese firms buying Russian Su-35 fighter planes and one S-400 air defence system. The sanctions are part of the action against Russia for the annexation of Crimea.
India pushed for a special waiver when US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo ca last month.
A senior Pentagon official said in August that sanctions against India would come under consideration if its purchase goes through.
India has signalled it will ask Washington for a special waiver from sanctions, though a US official last week said there is no guarantee it would do so.
Meanwhile, Putin will get a gift of three flight-worthy made-in-India MiG 21 fighter jets when he visits New Delhi.
(With Inputs from AFP)