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U.S. may permit India to buy Russian S-400 missile system

U.S. may permit India to buy Russian S-400 missile system

India and Russia signed the 5 billion United States dollar S-400 air defence system deal during the annual bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Friday, apart from the bilateral talks, the two leaders will address the India-Russia Business forum and interact with a group of 20 students (10 Russian and 10 Indian) from India's Atal Innovation Mission and Russia's Creative School, SIRIUS.

The S-400's latest and most advanced missile system, the 40N6 SAM - the export variant of the missile is designated 40N6E - will most likely not be part of the initial delivery.

The deal was signed in New Delhi during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss nuclear energy, space exploration and trade.

"I do not think that India would succumb to US pressure over the purchasing of the armaments from Russian Federation", he said.

But Russia remains India's main arms supplier, and a string of new deals with the Asian giant would be a major win for Moscow - and a big snub to the US.

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India therefore could expect to gain a sympathetic ear if it seeks a waiver from the United States sanctions, but President Donald Trump's administration has signalled this is unlikely.

"Putin's visit to India will be watched closely not just by Washington, but probably also by Beijing".

However, the US Embassy spokesperson stressed that waiver on CAATSA will be considered on a transaction-by-transaction basis as no sanctions decisions can be prejudged.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a visit to New Delhi last month that discussions were continuing over whether to grant waivers to India from U.S. sanctions on Russian Federation and Iran, India's second-largest oil supplier.

The deal was signed on the sidelines of the summit between Putin and Prime minister Narendra Modi, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

The US is in a hard position as it seeks to contain China through better ties with India, which like Washington has been unnerved by Beijing's growing assertiveness.

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United States First Lady Melania Trump is expected in Kenya on Friday as part of her first solo global trip as FLOTUS. Mrs Trump was coming from Kamuzu International Airport to Kamuzu Palace during her five hours charity trip to Malawi.

The bill was introduced a month after Putin was sworn in for his fourth presidential term, which may be his last because the constitution bars him from running again in 2024.

The GST was introduced in India on July 1, 2017.

Russian Federation and India also made agreements relating to railways, fertilisers and space.

The United States has said countries trading with Russia's defense and intelligence sectors would face automatic sanctions under the U.S. law.

Strategically, Russia has facilitated India's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and endorsed India's long-held demand for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council. However, the Trump administration has been given authority under this this year's U.S. National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to waive sanctions in certain circumstances pertaining to Russian legacy systems that costs less than $15 million.

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