INDIA DEFENDS PLANS TO BUY RUSSIAN MISSILE SYSTEM AGAINST US




Selin ATAY-TDO-India’s top diplomat on Monday defended his government’s decision to purchase S-400 missile systems from Russia, saying that despite U.S. concerns that New Delhi should be allowed to buy what it wants from whomever it wants to meet its defense needs.

“The sourcing of military equipment is very much a sovereign right and we would not like any state to tell us what to buy or not buy from Russia — no more than we’d like another state to tell us to buy or not buy from America,” Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told reporters ahead of a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“We buy American, we buy Russian, we buy French, we buy Israeli,” Mr. Jaishankar said. “That freedom of choice is ours and we think it’s in everybody’s interest to recognize that.”

Under a 2017 law, the United States imposes sanctions against countries over “major” arms purchases from Russia due to Moscow’s military involvement in Ukraine and Syria and alleged meddling in US elections.

Last year India agreed to buy five S-400 systems for $5.2 billion, and Russia has said that delivery is on track. The United States who uncomfortable with the deal, had threatened to impose sanctions on New Delhi, which receives arms and military equipment from Russia.