US "heard, understood" India on Russian missile deal
India is hopeful it will avoid US sanctions over its purchase of Russia's S-400 missile system, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, NDTV reports.
New Delhi has been "heard and understood" by the US administration over its accord to buy the S-400 missile defence system for $5.2 billion, the minister said in an interview to news agency AFP this week.
Ms Sitharaman said that Washington has taken on board that India, bordering both Pakistan and China, needed arms from Russia, and others, to remain a "strong partner". Negotiations with Moscow, a longstanding supplier to India's military, on the S-400 began before the US sanctions were introduced, she said.
"In the case of S-400 we have explained ourselves well... That has been heard and understood," Ms Sitharaman said. "They have appreciated the point of view put forward." Asked if she was confident that India would avoid sanctions, Ms Sitharaman said: "Yes I hope so."