Notwithstanding its continuing military strikes against Ukraine, Russia has started supplying some components of the second regiment of the S-400 Triumf missile defence system to India, people familiar with the development said on Friday.
However, they added that not all key parts of the regiment have been supplied yet.
The supplies came amid increasing concerns in New Delhi over possible delays in the supply of major military hardware to India by Russia in view of the crisis in Ukraine.
''Russia has started delivering some components of the second regiment of the S-400 missile system. Not all key parts of the regiment have been supplied yet,'' said one of the people cited above.
It is understood that the components supplied included simulators.
Russia had started delivery of the first regiment of the missile in December. The missile system has already been deployed in such a way that it can cover parts of the border with China in the northern sector as well as the frontier with Pakistan.
It is learnt that the issue of India-Russia defence ties figured during Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to India two weeks ago. Last month, Russia said that there will be no impact of the Western sanctions against it on the supply of S-400 missile systems to India.
''As regards the S-400 deal, be rest assured that it will not be impacted in any way. It is a 100 surety,'' Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov had said. The Western countries have imposed severe sanctions on Russia in the last few days following its military invasion of Ukraine.
In October 2018, India had signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, despite a warning from the Trump administration that going ahead with the contract may invite US sanctions.
Russia has been a major supplier of military hardware to India. The two countries have been holding discussions on what kind of payment mechanisms can work between them in view of the Western sanctions on Moscow.
Unlike many other leading powers, India has not yet directly criticised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and it abstained from the votes at the UN platforms in condemning the Russian aggression.
India has been pressing for the resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held phone conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, March 2 and March 7.
Modi had spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy twice.
Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in Parliament that India's position on the Ukraine conflict has been ''steadfast and consistent'' and that it has been seeking immediate cessation of violence.
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