Washington: India is a critical ally of the US. Imposing any sanctions on New Delhi under the punitive CAATSA law for its purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, would be “extraordinarily foolhardy”, said a top Republican Senator to the Biden administration.
Under the domestic law, the US administration is required, Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) to impose sanctions on any country that has significant transactions with Iran, North Korea or Russia.
CAATSA is a tough US law. It authorises the administration for imposing the sanctions on countries that purchase major defence hardware from Russia in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections.
During a hearing on pending nominations by the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Ted Cruz said, “There are reports that the Biden administration is contemplating imposing CAATSA sanctions against India, the largest democracy on Earth, a decision that I think would be extraordinarily foolhardy.”
Senator Cruz represents State of Texas in the United States Senate, said that under the Biden administration, over last one week, the bilateral relationship between India and the United States had deteriorated.
“India is a critical ally across a number of areas, and the US-India alliance has broadened and deepened in recent years. But under the Biden administration, it’s gone backwards,” Senator Cruz said.
Referring to India’s abstention in the UN General Assembly votes condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, he said, “India is not the only country to have voted against us, and against condemning Russia.”
India is facing a flak amid its abstention, from US lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats.
A total of 141 nations voted in favour of the move condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and five nations were against it, with 35 countries, including India, abstaining. The UNGA resolution was similar to the one circulated earlier in the 15-nation Security Council on which India had also abstained.
At a different hearing by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he said that in the past year under the Biden administration, the US relations with India have worsened significantly.
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