Washington’s behaviour in regarding the S-400 deal is an attack on the strategic autonomy of New Delhi and Ankara, and US attempts to foist its interests on sovereign countries would prove counterproductive, experts from India and Pakistan said Monday.
“My view is that Turkey and India will very jealously protect autonomy in their strategic decision making. They will find it very difficult to align with the US dictate on the S-400 issue. The US administration should find a diplomatic solution to the issue and retain its political and military linkages with Turkey,” Anadolu Agency reported quoting ex-Director General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Gen. Ehsanul Haq as saying Monday.
India's retired Air Vice Marshall Kapil Kak and the Pak’s former ISI chief assert that the Russian S-400 missile defense system is the “best available air defense system in the world” and that “American alternatives are a no match to them.”
“The S-400 is superior than any other system, including the American Patriot. It also depends on Patriot derivate that is on offer. For S-400, we know exactly what it means. It has been used in the Gulf war and upgraded subsequently. But as far as the configuration, we know, it is not superior to S-400,” said Kak.
“I do not think, it (Patriot) will either interest Turkey or India,” Kak added.
A US government official on Monday, warned against purchase of the Russian equipment while speaking to Indian journalists in Washington, ahead of an expected visit by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to New Delhi, as part of preparations to arrange a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Japan later this week.
Both countries risk having Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) slapped against them for buying Russian equipment. The CAATSA was passed to punish Russia for its interference in US elections and its involvement in Ukraine.
“With respect to S-400, we are urging all our allies and partners, India included, to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering CAATSA ... This is a time we will be encouraging India to look at alternatives,” said the US official, according to Indian media reports.
“My own reading is that the US approach towards Turkey will be far harder than towards India, because of various geopolitical and regional factors,” Kak said.
“We have been told at senior most levels that India will be exempted (from CAATSA sanctions). India will not have to pay the price in way of economic sanctions, if it goes ahead with purchasing the Russian missile system. But there is no clarity still. My own reading is that India is closely watching America’s approach towards Turkey. But I feel they [Americans] will be generous towards India,” Kak explained.