India is ready to accept, deploy and start operation of the S-400 Air Defense System which will be supplied by Almaz-Antey of Russia, Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, the company's deputy General director, has said.
One batch of Indian technicians completed training in July this year while another was in the process of wrapping up its training, the official told Interfax in an interview.
India is likely to receive the first regimental set of the S-400 by the end of 2021.
The threat of sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against India for buying S-400s does not loom large. U.S. Senators and India Caucus Co-Chairs Mark Warner and John Cornyn urged U.S. President Joe Biden to waive these sanctions, arguing that India was an important ally and that its purchase of Russian equipment was declining. Warner and Cornyn added that the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows the President to issue a sanctions waiver if doing so is in the national interest and if it would not affect U.S.’ national security, its military operations and compromise its defense systems.
Washington hasn’t spared even Turkey, its NATO ally, from these sanctions. When asked about Ankara’s desire to purchase additional S-400s, Dzirkaln said, “The Turkish side chose S-400 keeping the country’s security in mind. Political reasons faded into the background. We have already delivered the first set. Turkish specialists have started to operate it. The reviews are very positive. The Turkish side expresses its desire to continue cooperation - well, we are pleased with that. We are talking about a NATO country appreciating our system at its true worth. We are ready for cooperation,” he added.
Dmitry Shugayev, Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, told RBC media group on November 2 that about ten countries have shown interest in buying S-400s.
Belarus is one of the countries that is looking to acquire S-400s. Talking about negotiations with Minsk, Dzirkaln said, “As for the S-400, we are ready to solve this problem, but so far it has not been assigned to us.”
Shugayev said last week that he did not see any obstacles for the potential deliveries of S-400 air defense systems to Belarus.