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Army chief: India to purchase Russian defense systems despite US threats to slap sanctions

A contract for supplying S-400 air defense missile systems to India was signed on October 5

NEW DELHI, October 8. /TASS/. India has been pursuing an independent policy and will continue to purchase defense systems from Russia despite Washington’s threats to slap sanctions on New Delhi, Chief of India’s Army Staff Bipin Rawat has said.

"You (Russia) can be rest assured (that) while we may be associating with America in getting some technology, but we are pursuing an independent policy," Indian media outlets quoted Rawat as saying on Monday.

His comments came after the United States warned its allies and partners about potential embargos that may result under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) following the conclusion of the Russian-Indian supply contract for the S-400 missile systems. Rawat added that India is ready to purchase Kamov helicopters and other weapon systems from Russia.

The Indian general noted that the Russians were keen on associating with the Indian army, because "they do understand that we are a strong army capable of standing up for what is right for us, based on our tactical mindset," he has been quoted as saying.

A contract for supplying the cutting-edge S-400 air defense missile system to India was signed on Friday during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India. Under the agreement, New Delhi will get five regimental sets of S-400s for $5 billion.

The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) was signed by US President Donald Trump in August 2017. This legislation toughens sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, while also stipulating embargos being imposed against third countries for cooperating with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors. New Delhi hopes the US will make an exception, because Washington does not want to lose the Indian defense market.