India confirms its order of S-400 despite the risks of US sanctions

While the US Senate included an amendment excluding Turkey from F-35 deliveries in the 2018 arms export law, the Russian state agency Tass announced the signing of the contract for the acquisition by India of the equivalent of 5 S-400 regiments, for an amount exceeding 6 billion dollars. 

This order could expose India to the application of US sanctions under the CAATSA law (On Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanction Act). This would obviously be very embarrassing for US diplomacy which is trying to get India to join the US sphere of influence to counter Chinese expansion, and could undermine the numerous current arms contracts for which the States -Unis hope to garner large orders.

Furthermore, if the United States were to grant India a “free pass” regarding a system as efficient as the S-400, the entire CAATSA law would find itself discredited, see invalidated, embarrassing the Trump administration. 

While relations between Russia and India have become strained in recent years, due to arms deliveries to China (S-400, Su-35), and discussions with Pakistan, this announcement sounds like a return to favor for Russian industrialists. It must be said that Russia remains, by far, the leading supplier of arms to India, while India is the leading export customer of Russian defense industries. Given the very significant Defense investments on the part of the Russian State, revenues linked to exports to India are of a strategic nature for its Defense effort. 

In fact, the Indian decision has a very important geopolitical significance, reassuring Russia about the sustainability of its relations with India, while cooling American pretensions.

This is also rather good news for French industry, because India indicates with this decision that it wishes to maintain its non-aligned policy, and therefore the diversity of its partners, of which France has been a part for decades.

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