U.S. House of Representatives approves CAATSA sanctions waiver on India over S-400 deal with Russia

The House of Representatives approved Ro Khanna’s India CAATSA waiver amendment on Thursday.

Washington:

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved legislation recommending an India-specific waiver under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), deepening defense ties between the two democracies and helping to deter aggressors like China.

The House approved the measure, proposed by Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna, an Indo-American congressman and member of the House Armed Services Act, as an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act ( NDAA) by 330 against 99.

However, this amendment is just a few steps away from becoming law. After the House passes the NDAA – the Senate must approve its version. Next, lawmakers must reach a compromise version of the legislation, which authorizes more than $800 billion in defense spending, before voting again later this year.

The monumental amendment marks the most significant legislation for U.S.-India relations outside of Congress since the U.S.-India nuclear deal, according to a statement released by Khanna.

“The United States must stand with India in the face of China’s escalating aggression. As Vice Chairman of the India Caucus, I have worked to strengthen the partnership between our countries and make so that India can defend itself along the Indo-Chinese border”. said Representative Khanna.

“This amendment is of the utmost importance, and I am proud to see it passed in the House on a bipartisan basis.”

He said the India-US partnership, rooted in shared democratic values, is essential to advancing US interests in the Indo-Pacific region; and this partnership between the oldest and largest democracies in the world is essential and must continue to be strengthened in response to the growing threats in the Indo-Pacific regions, sending an unequivocal signal that sovereignty and international law must be respected.

“The amendment is a good signal to the Biden administration on what the house thinks of CAATSA and India,” an analyst told ANI.

This amendment is the latest effort by members of Congress to underscore a strong defense partnership between India and the United States, highlighting China’s threat to India’s security.

In addition, in Khanna’s amendment, there is a section titled “Border Threats from China and Use of Russian Weapons”, which proposes that Congress recognize that India faces “immediate and serious regional border threats on the part of China, with relentless military aggression by the Government of China along the Indo-Chinese border”.

He stressed that the United States should take additional steps to encourage India to accelerate its transition from Russian-made weapons and defense systems while strongly supporting India’s immediate defense needs.

Addressing the House of Representatives, Mr Khanna hailed the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (ICET) which was announced during the Tokyo summit between President Joe Biden and President Narendra Modi as a essential step “to establish closer ties between the two nations in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, aerospace and semiconductor manufacturing.

As India faces an immediate need to maintain its Russian-made weapons systems, a sanctions waiver under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act during this transition period is in the interests of the United States. and the US-India defense partnership to deter aggressors given the close partnership between Russia and China.

Under CAATSA, the United States imposes sanctions on countries that have “significant transactions with Iran, North Korea, or Russia.”

India had signed the $5.43 billion deal with Russia for five S-400 squadrons in October 2018. Although, according to a senior official under President Joe Biden’s administration earlier, the United States States have not made a final decision on sanctions against India for its acquisition. Russia’s S-400 missile system as part of CAATSA.

The Indian-American politician stressed that a strong defense partnership between the United States and India is rooted in shared democratic values ​​and is essential to advancing US interests in the Indo region. -peaceful.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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