US continues attempts to convince India not to purchase Russia's S-400 systems — official

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S-400 missile defense systems

S-400 missile defense systems

© Vitaly Nevar/TASS

WASHINGTON, June 13. /TASS/. The United States continues attempts to convince India not to purchase S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells said on Thursday.

“There is no blanket waiver, or a country waiver, when it comes to S-400. We have serious concerns about a possible S-400 purchase, and we are continuing our conversations on how the United States or other defense providers could assist India,” Wells said at the hearings on US interests in South Asia and the budget for the fiscal year 2020.

“When President Putin visited [India] in October last year, there were additional announcements of big ticket military items that were potentially under consideration,” she added.

“We’ve seen India over the years, in particular over the last 10 years, start to diversify its weapons sources. Out trade relationship in the defense sector went from zero to 18 billion over the last 18 years, and we expect continued progress in expanding that defense relationship. But it’s still the case that about 65 to 70% of India’s military hardware is of Russian origin,” Wells noted.

New Delhi first expressed interest in purchasing Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems in 2015. The contract on delivering S-400 systems was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India last year.

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