Republicans introduce legislation to exempt India from S-400 sanctions

A trio of Republicans have introduced legislation to exempt India and other members of the Quad from sanctions warning that taking action against India for buying Russian defense equipment would undermine efforts to combat Chinese aggression.

Image courtesy: Shahid Raza on Twitter

“Countering China’s aggressive behavior requires viable partners in Asia and beyond, and the US-Indian relationship has become a cornerstone of our multilateral efforts,” said Sen. Ted Cruz about the rationale for the proposed legislation. The trio led by Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz includes Senators Todd Young and Roger Marshall. Cruz introduced last week the legislation titled, “Circumspectly Reducing Unintended Consequences Impairing Alliances and Leadership Act of 2021” (CRUCIAL Act). If it goes through, the legislation would create a ten-year exemption for members of the Quad, India, Australia and Japan, from US sanctions “that would undermine unity against China”.

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Although Japan and Australia do not buy Russian defense equipment, Cruz made the bill a broad measure that does not on the face of it make India the centerpiece and turns the focus to China’s aggressiveness, specially in the Indo-Pacific where the US has vital interests.

India is facing the prospect of sanctions under the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for buying the Russian missile air defense system, S-400 Triumf, which it is to begin receiving in November.

Republican and former President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on NATO ally Turkey for buying the S-400 and refused to sell it F-35 multi-role jets.

China has also been sanctioned for buying the same missile defense system equipment and SU-35 jet fighters from Russia, but with limited effect.

There is both opposition and support from the Democratic side for giving India a waiver. More… | Home & Abroad | An Alternative to Breaking News, Report Since 2000