Dynamics of India-U.S. ties cannot influence defence relationship with Russia: Nirmala Sitharaman

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said India had made it clear to the United States that its relationship with Russia was lasting and the dynamics of Indo-U.S. ties cannot influence it.

“I like to make it clear here that in all our engagements with the U.S., we have very clearly explained how India and Russia’s defence cooperation has been going on for a very long time,” Ms. Sitharaman said in response to a media query pertaining to the U.S. advising India to not go ahead with purchase of S-400 anti-missile system from Russia.

“It’s a time-tested relationship and India has got quite a lot of defence assets from Russia. Assets, spares, servicing, we have a continuous relationship with Russia,” she noted.

Ms. Sitharaman said the U.S. sanctions against Russia would not be impacting “this particular characteristic of India-Russia defence cooperation”.

Negotiations with Russia for S-400 were in the final stage, she pointed out, “The S-400 deal has been on for a very long time and we have reached the final stage negotiations. That explains it all,” she said.