The sale of Russian long-range surface-to-air missile systems is a sticking point as it is unclear whether India will receive a waiver from Washington on US sanctions meant to punish Russia for its annexation of Crimea and alleged interference in the 2016 USA elections.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greet each other prior to their talks in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. "Looking forward to our deliberations, which will further enhance India-Russia friendship".
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, the Russian minister also said that oil prices are now influenced by the uncertainty with Iran, as well as falling Venezuelan production. "Negotiation on S-400 air defence systems has been on for a long while and it is at a stage where it can be finalised", Sitharaman said last week.
Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold annual talks on Friday and oversee the signing of a slew of agreements, India's External Affairs Ministry said. What triggers sanctions is the transfer of funding and not when the deal is signed. US' stand effectively means that any country that engages in defence or intelligence sharing with Russian Federation could also be subject to sanctions.
American lawmakers, however, have allowed the possibility of a presidential waiver.
"It's about time we. showed that we are not going to be pushed around by Washington".
New Delhi is expected to request a special waiver from the USA for the purchase, but it remains unclear whether the Trump administration, which believes the S-400 could access sensitive military technology, will accede.
On the strategic front, Russian Federation helped India become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation this year and has backed New Delhi s long-held demand for a permanent UN Security Council seat.
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Upgrades in arms systems "including the S-400 air and missile defense system" would be a particular focus for CAATSA, a US State Department spokesperson was quoted as saying by India s PTI news agency.
But Russia remains India's main arms supplier, and a string of new deals with the Asian giant would be a major win for Moscow - and a big snub to the US.
All eyes will be on the defence agreements for the S-400 missile defence system +, frigates and assault rifles. Doval had a 90-minute intense discussion with Secretary Mattis on the need for India to acquire the S-400 missile system. Although New Delhi has diversified in recent years and the US has emerged as its second biggest source of arms, Moscow still remains an important source of weapons.
Sources had earlier said Modi and Putin would also deliberate on impact of United States sanctions on import of crude oil from Iran.
New Delhi also wants to show that its defence needs can not be subjected to the whims and fancies of another country.
He will also interact with a group of talented children and address an India-Russia business meet. The two sides are expected to hold talks on setting up a new payment mechanism independent of the USA controlled dollar trade.
In May, Modi had travelled to Russian coastal city of Sochi for an informal summit with Putin during which they discussed a range of crucial issues.