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To avoid US sanctions, India ponders paying Russian arms purchases in euros

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NEW DELHI – Earlier this month, India’s Foreign Ministry underlined that New Delhi does not intend to abandon its agreement with Moscow to buy S-400 air defense systems despite US threats.

India is likely to pay Russia in euros for its weapons in order to avoid US sanctions, the Indian daily Economic Times reported, citing anonymous sources.

The sources claimed that while some payments have already been made “through transactions in rupees and rubles”, Moscow and New Delhi have signed an agreement according to which Russian bank VTB will receive payment in euros.

India signs US $4 billion in arms purchase contracts

Several contracts for the supply of Russian military equipment totaling $4 billion have already been signed, including the purchase of S-400 air defense systems, four frigates, as well as the lease of the submarine Chakra III.

In addition, Russia and India are expected to sign two more agreements relating to the supply of AK-203 assault rifles and Ka-226 helicopters to the Indian Army.

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Recently, the US State Department has advised India to withdraw from the S-400 acquisition agreement, proposing to New Delhi similar American armaments.

In 2018, the US insisted that India give up the signing of the largest S-400 purchase agreement with Russia. The Indian Government, for its part, has repeatedly stressed that it considers unilateral restrictions to be unlawful.

The leadership of India intends to “state clearly” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that New Delhi does not intend to reject the implementation of the Russian S-400 air defense systems supply agreement and end military cooperation with Moscow, a diplomatic source in New Delhi told reporters.

According to these data, during a three-day visit from Pompeo to India, New Delhi’s representatives will try to persuade Washington not to impose sanctions against its country under the CAATSA.

“We have a long history of military cooperation with Russia and we can not reject it. We intend to convey this idea in a clear way to the American side,” a spokesman for the organization said.

At the same time, according to the source, the agenda for the next discussions may include “any issues” and there is no strict program of negotiations at the moment.

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