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Sansad TV: Perspective- CAATSA Waiver for India

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Introduction:

The US House of Representatives has passed by voice vote a legislative amendment that approves waiver to India against the punitive CAATSA sanctions for its purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia. The legislative amendment was passed as part of an en bloc amendment during floor consideration of the National Defence Authorisation Act. Authored and introduced by Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna, the amendment urged the Biden administration to use its authority to provide India with a CAATSA waiver to in the face of aggression from China. As many of you would be aware, CAATSA is a tough US law that authorises the US administration to impose sanctions on countries that purchase major defence hardware from Russia. The law was brought in 2017, in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections. It provides for punitive actions by the US government against any country engaged in transactions with the Russian defence and intelligence sectors.

CAATSA,:

  • The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) is a legislation that former President Donald Trump signed into effect on August 2, 2017.
  • Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)‘s core objective is to counter Iran, Russia and North Korea through punitive measures.
  • Enacted in 2017.
  • Includes sanctions against countries that engage in significant transactions with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors.

Sanctions:

  • prohibition on loans to the sanctioned person.
  • prohibition of Export-Import bank assistance for exports to sanctioned persons.
  • prohibition on procurement by United States Government to procure goods or services from the sanctioned person.
  • denial of visas to persons closely associated with the sanctioned person.

Amendment:

  • The amendment calls for the US government to exercise its authority to grant India a CAATSA waiver in order to counter China and other aggressors.
  • The United States-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (ICET), according to the law, is a positive and crucial move toward forging deeper collaborations between governments, academia, and industry in the two nations to address the most recent developments in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, aerospace, and semiconductor manufacturing.

S-400 air defence missile system?

The S-400 Triumf is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM) designed by Russia.

CAATSA Waiver on India-US Relations:

  • The NDAA amendment also urged the US to do more to support India’s decision to reduce its reliance on Russian-made weapons.
  • The revision is consistent with the prevailing strategic tone of bilateral ties.
  • 2008 was reportedly a turning point, and since then, US defence transactions with India have totalled at least 20 billion dollars. Just 500 million dollars were spent on it in the time before 2008.
  • Additionally, the US recognised India as a significant defence partner in 2016. Through associations like Quad and, more recently, I2U2, strategic linkages have also been strengthened.
  • India’s strategic interests require a shift away from Russian systems. Following its invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s reliance on China has grown dramatically, and this position is considered unlikely to change in the near future.