S-400 Triumf missile deal: The Indian government may make payments for Russian arms comprising S-400 air defence missile system in euros to a Russia-nominated bank. The currency remittance is being considered to circumvent the risk of US sanctions for the purchase of military hardware.
Previously, India used to make certain payments through the rupee-rouble route for existing defence transactions, however, Russia's VTB Bank consented on accepting money in euros, the Economic Times reported citing sources. India has to pay over $4 billion to Russia this financial year, with the S-400 system being the biggest contract, followed by the Chakra III submarine lease and the procurement of four frigates for the Indian Navy, according to the report.
Russia-based VTB Bank has reportedly said that it was open to using a European account for money transfer by the Indian government. Meanwhile, the Indian bank chosen for making the payment will have minimal exposure to the US currency, the report added. VTB Bank has already processed a lot of large deals in India in the past few years, includingover $12 billion investment into the Essar Group, that saved the company from bankruptcy.
Furthermore, there are two additional Russian contracts that are expected this year for the supply of AK 203 rifles to the Indian armed forces. The weapons will be manufactured in Amethi, while India and Russia will also ink a deal to procure Ka-226 helicopters for the Indian army, which will be produced by HAL-Russian JV.
The Indian government last year had signed the much-anticipated deal worth $5.43-billion to buy five Russian S-400 Triumf missile shield systems at the 19th India-Russia annual bilateral summit at the Hyderabad House.
The Triumf missile deal with Russia will give India's military a much-needed boost, which would act as a deterrent against China's growing presence in the region and a superior edge over Pakistan. The S-400 Triumf missiles are extremely efficient in tracking and destroying enemy combat aircraft, even stealth planes, at unprecedented ranges.
During the recent visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar made the Indian government's stance clear on the deal with Russia despite the threat of US invoking the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).