U.S. sanctions unlikely to affect Russian arms deliveries to India: Expert

Moscow [Russia], Mar. 9 (ANI): The U.S. sanctions against Russian defense contractors will not affect arms contracts between Moscow and New Delhi as a final decision will be made by India's top leadership, according to Director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Ruslan Pukhov.

Earlier, an India-based daily had reported that the agreements between Russia and India on frigates and S-400 antiaircraft missile systems were endangered over U.S. sanctions.

The article said that any foreign supplier of military equipment is required under India's legislation to get a guarantee from an Indian bank to get a possibility to participate in the purchase process. However, the U.S. sanctions against Russia's United Ship-Building Corporation and its subsidiaries, as well as against Almaz-Antey defense contractor ban Indian banks from issuing such guarantees.

However, giving his view over the issue, Pukhov told Russian news agency TASS, "As for the situation with banks, India, indeed, fears that the Americans might impose sanctions on them, [banks] but, I don't have the slightest doubt that this obstacle can be overcome. Surely, parallel procedures exist that will allow the deal to go through under any conditions. If the Indian highest political leadership wants the deal to go ahead, the U.S. sanctions are not an obstacle."

In his opinion, there are not so many arms markets, where Russia really confronts the United States and, although India is among them, the share of Russian armaments supplied to Delhi is growing all the same.

As the expert said, Russia is not only supplying armaments to India, but, is also helping Indian partners develop their own weapons.

"We have not only transferred a nuclear-powered submarine to them for lease, but, have helped the Indians build their own nuclear submarine. At the same time, Americans do not transfer even their far less sensitive technologies to anyone, even to their closest NATO allies," said Pukhov.

Meanwhile, a source in the system of Russia's military and technical cooperation explained to TASS that India will hardly give up Russian armament purchases over the U.S. sanctions as the projects with Russia in this sphere are very significant for Delhi, while citing financial problems can be solved through ruble-rupee settlements.

According to the source, the sanctions against defence contractors engaged in military and technical cooperation, many of which are operating actively in India, have been in effect for several years now, but, nonetheless, the contracts with Delhi are being successfully implemented and also new deals are concluded.

Russia and India signed a number of agreements of military and technical cooperation in October last year, including a deal for the delivery of S-400 Triumf anti aircraft missile systems, and also a deal for the construction of Project 11356 frigates in the interests of the Indian Navy.

The Indian Air Force is also expected to be the customer for this aircraft FGFA (Fifth-Generation Fighting Aircraft) at the initial stage and later on the new fighter jet will be supplied to third countries.

Apart from this, Russia will take part in the project to develop India's fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), and also in a tender for the delivery of 400 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.

The two sides have also signed an agreement on the delivery of two A-50EI long-range radar detection and control aircraft, and also an agreement on organising the licensed production of T-90S tanks on the territory of India.

Russia and India have also signed an inter-governmental agreement on producing Kamov Ka-226T light multipurpose helicopters on the territory of that country. (ANI)