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India decided to proceed with its deal to buy the S-400 air missile defense systems from Russia despite opposition from the US, defense ministry officials said on condition of anonymity.
They added that the ministry has received no instructions as of how to stall the contract in the wake of the US red-flagging the $5.5 billion deal.
The Trump administration has warned India of the consequences of this purchase from Russia and said it could curtail military cooperation with the United States.
The officials said the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take the final decision now that both the countries have completed negotiations to close the deal.
According to hindustantimes.com, the defense ministry’s view is that Russia, which has already sold the system to China, could also sell it to Pakistan, perhaps through China, if India reneges on the deal at this stage.
The purchase of S-400 system will be up for discussion at the two-plus-two dialogue between Indian and US foreign and defense ministers in Washington. It is learnt that at the dialogue the two sides will flag security concerns over the contract and how to best come out of a sticky situation without any ramification on the close bilateral ties.
The officials said that New Delhi has already used back channels to explain India’s concerns and the need for a strong air defense system given the neighborhood. The Indian Air Force, given the advance aerial capabilities of China and Pakistan, needs the S-400 to protect its air bases.