Russia on Wednesday said there will be no delays in the delivery of the S-400 air defence systems to India and a payment mechanism for the deal is being worked out.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the missile systems will significantly enhance India’s air defence capability.
Last week, the government informed Lok Sabha that it will start receiving the missile systems from Russia from October next year and the deliveries will be completed by April 2023.
India inked an agreement with Russia in October last year to procure a batch of the missile systems at a cost of Rs 40,000 crore. India went ahead to seal the deal notwithstanding the US’ warnings against it.
There were apprehensions about the payment mechanism for the deal in the wake of the US sanctions against Russia. “India would receive the systems as agreed upon in due time, without any delays. And, your (India’s) national security will be enhanced substantially,” Ryabkov told reporters.
“We (Russia) want to be immune to arbitrary unilateral measures undertaken by some country against a very legitimate form of international cooperation,” he said.
Simply Put: A Russian deal, a US nod
Asked how President Vladimir Putin extended an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an economic conclave in Vladivostok in Russia in September when who will be India’s PM will be known only after the parliamentary elections in April-May, he said Moscow is no mood of assessing the political situation in India.
On the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, the deputy foreign minister said there are “huge chances” for the US to formally depart from the treaty in the very near future. The 1987 pact helps protect the security of the US and its allies in Europe and the Far East.
“We are deeply concerned on the situation around the INF treaty. We do not see any signs of any improvement so far… We have received a formal note, a formal notification from the US side, of its intention to suspend the implementation of the treaty,” he said in response to a question.
President Donald Trump in October had confirmed that the US will pull out of an arms control treaty with Russia dating from the cold war that limited the number of missiles in the two nations, accusing Moscow of violating the deal.
“The material implementation of the treaty was concluded in 2000, to suspend something that was materially finished, would mean now only a departure from the treaty, altogether some action in contravention from the core, principles of the treaty which is very unfortunate,” Ryabkov said.
The deputy foreign minister said Russia was “ever prepared to bilaterally deal with this if and when the US would be prepared”.
“It can be done through a dedicated round of consultations with involvement of all agencies, the military, the diplomats, the security council apparatus and can be done in the form of joint commission, with new implementation of the treaty or in any other form comfortable to the US,” Ryabkov said.