Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was in India on an official visit on Tuesday, said he did not discuss the issue of US pressure or sanctions on the sale of the S-400 system to India, adding that if Washington puts pressure on any country, there will be a reciprocal reaction.
The Russian Foreign Minister told reporters in New Delhi, “It wasn’t me who said the US exercised pressure on India but any other country which wanted to sign an agreement with Russia on the delivery of weapons… If the US says this overtly, we all will know, but we also know the reciprocal reaction.”
Russian Foreign Minister further said, “With India, we do not discuss these statements by the US. Instead, we confirmed that we are going into diplomatic military cooperation. We have an intergovernmental committee. The military-technical cooperation has its own plan. We also discussed additional manufacturing of the Russian military equipment in India within the concept of made in India and in the concept of independent India. So here I don’t hear any fluctuations or changes from our Indian partners and friends.”
This statement comes as US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin had raised the issue of S-400 last month with India and alluded that procurement may also attract sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
In a press conference today, Union minister S Jaishankar told reporters that the specific issue was not discussed as this was handled by a different body headed by the defence minister.
Earlier in the day, Mr Lavrov, who is on a two-day India visit, held delegation-level talks with Mr Jaishankar.