The US congress, propose waivers for India from punitive sanctions, keeping relation with Russia in mind.
A US congressional committee on Tuesday, as per reports, proposed waivers for countries like India from punitive sanctions against those doing business with Russia’s defence industry.
The Senate and House Armed Services Committee in a joint conference report to the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA)-2019 provided a modified waiver to section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act or CAATSA.
A conference report refers to the final version of a bill that is negotiated between the House of Representative and the Senate via conference committee.
CAATSA waiver though general in nature instead at preventing US sanctions on India, which is planning to buy five S-400 Triumph air defence systems for around USD 4.5 billion from Russia.
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Unlike the existing version of the act, the proposed modified waiver requires presidential certifications designed to protect US alliances, military operations, and sensitive technology, said a statement issued by the Senate Armed Services Committee after the two committees announced details of the conference report.
The John Mccain Natonal Defence AuthorisationAct for Fiscal Year 2019, which authorises funding for the Department of Defence and the national security programmes of the Department of Energy, encourages US allies and partners to reduce inventory of Russian-produced major defence equipment and advanced conventional weapons.
At the same time, it excludes the possibility of waivers for Russian intelligence agencies and other entities engaged in cyber-attacks. The move come days after US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis asked the Congress to give the Secretary of State the waiver authority. He said, “Doing so allows nations to build a closer security relationship with the US as they continue to transition from reliance on Russian military equipment.’’
Mattis further informed, “The fundamental question we must ask ourselves is do we wish to strengthen our partners in key regions or leave them with no other option than to turn to Russia, thereby undermining a once-in-a generation opportunity to more closely align nations with the US vision for global security and stability.”
The Pentagon, the State Department, and the Indian Embassy did not immediately respond to request for their comments on the latest CAATSA development.