Moscow has started deliveries of its long-range S-400 ground-to-air missile defence system to New Delhi.

Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India, the Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Monday, “Supplies have begun this month and will continue to happen”.

Russia and India signed a deal in 2018 adhering to which Russia is supplying S-400 to India. The deal can put the latter at risk of sanctions by the United States, which has warned the New Delhi government various times over the deal.

Russian media reported last month that Moscow started delivering the first of the S-400s to India, citing Dmitry Shugayev, head of the Russian military cooperation agency, who said the first S-400 unit will arrive in India by the end of this year.

The $5.5bn deal was for five long-range surface-to-air missile systems, which India has claimed that it needs to counter a threat from China.

India could potentially face a range of financial sanctions from the US under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which names Russia as an adversary alongside North Korea and Iran for its actions against Ukraine, interference in the US 2016 elections and support to Syria.

New Delhi has said it has a strategic partnership with both the US and Russia.

Last year, citing CAATSA the US imposed sanctions on NATO ally Turkey for receiving Russian S-400 missiles. The sanctions targeted the main Turkish defence procurement and development body, the Presidency of Defence Industries.

Washington also removed Turkey from an F-35 stealth fighter jet programme, the most advanced aircraft in the US arsenal, used by NATO members and other US allies.


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