In what is a major development, US President Donald Trump, responding to questions from reporters at the White House, has vowed to give a quick response to India’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense systems, according to The Economic Times.
This marks a continued deterioration of relations between India and the U.S, which had warmed for a while after India engaged in a multipolar strategy to shore-up some gaps made in the U.S economy, while employing a long game strategy to increase its own sovereignty.
According to the president, he is aware of the agreement between Moscow and New Delhi. He promised a swift reaction.
“You’ll see [our reaction] – Sooner than you think, ” Trump said without elaborating on his threats.
In turn, a source familiar with the situation in India’s military industry said the country did not intend to stop collaborating with Moscow in the area of defense despite US threats.
Political scientist Stanisval Byshok explained that the US feels discomfort when someone opts for Russian armaments instead of theirs.
“The United States is one of the main actors in the armaments market, so it is clear that they do not feel comfortable when a country as big as India decides to reject US arms purchases in favor of the Russian,” he said.
“There are economic as well as political factors, as the US has become accustomed to having everyone accept their proposals, but here they have been rejected. Of course, Trump will introduce sanctions, related to other areas, for example, with Indian goods. India is a country with unequal development, the country receives international support at the level of humanitarian aid. Therefore, through its allies Trump can “turn off the tap”, arguing that a country that has space program and purchases Russian armaments should not still receive humanitarian support,” said the expert.
However, according to him, India will not give up buying Russian armaments.
“In this case, India is based on two assumptions: it is a story that has to do with the correlation between price and quality, since Russian armament is known throughout the world for its high quality and reasonable price. India’s status as a major power must behave more independently, but if it recoils, it can lose that status, and its position on the international stage demands a firmer stance, not a retreat from US pressure,” concluded Byshok.
On October 5, Russia and India closed the contract for supplying New Delhi with S-400 air defense systems worth $5.43 billion. India is the third largest buyer of these systems after China and Turkey.