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U.S.A’s Position on CAATSA

  • 08 Jul 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

  • Recently, the USA has reiterated its position and asked all its allies and partners, including India, to stop transactions with Russia.
    • It can risk triggering sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act

  • CAATSA is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
  • It includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia's defense and intelligence sectors.

Key Points

  • USA’s Stand: The USA has reiterated its position on CAATSA in the context of India’s planned jet fighter deal with Russia at an estimated Rs. 18,148 crore.
    • Recently, the Defence Acquisition Council had approved the procurement of 21 MiG-29 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF), an upgrade for 59 of these Russian aircraft and the acquisition of 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft.
    • India could also face USA sanctions for purchasing the S-400 Triumf missile defense system from Russia under the CAATSA.
      • The USA suspended Turkey from its F-35 aircraft programme and barred it from purchasing the jet, following Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 from Russia.
      • However, this was done without invoking CAATSA.
  • Major Defence Partner: The USA recognised India as a Major Defence Partner in 2016.
    • The designation allows India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from America at par with that of the USA’s closest allies and partners.
  • Issues with Purchase from Adversary: The USA fears that acquisitions by countries like India on significant systems would either expose or put at risk platforms and its technologies to an adversary.
    • It has declared that the S-400 purchase by Turkey from Russia has put a risk to its F-35 aircraft system.
  • Waiver Criteria under CAATSA: The USA President was given the authority in 2018 to waive CAATSA sanctions on a case-by-case basis.
    • However, the USA has repeatedly stated that India should not assume it will get a waiver.

NOTE:

  • The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system. China was the first foreign buyer to seal a government-to-government deal with Russia in 2014 for the system.

Way Forward

  • The defence procurement for India has become significant amid deadly clashes with China on Line of Actual Control (LAC). Russia is an all weather defence partner of India.
  • However, India needs to balance its relation with both Russia and USA, so that its national interest is not compromised.

Source: TH

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