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As India ‘Rethinks’ S-400 Acquisition, Russia Puts ‘Everything On Table’ For Pakistan

INDIAPOSITIVE

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As India could be re-evaluating its stand on acquiring the Russian S-400 air defense system fearing US sanctions, its rival Pakistan may have quietly discussed with Moscow the possibility of getting the deadly weapon.

This has sparked speculation that if New Delhi, which is a QUAD ally with Washington, drops out of this deal, Islamabad would not miss any chance to acquire the deadly weapon, which is rumored to have the capability of taking down even stealth fighters.

According to Dawn, a senior Pakistan official claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had given Islamabad a “blank cheque”. He was referring to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent visit to Islamabad, during which he had promised that Moscow would supply the Islamic nation with necessary military equipment to fight terror.

“I came with a message from my president (Putin) that tell Pakistan we are open for any cooperation, whatever Pakistan needs Russia is ready for it,” Lavrov was quoted by the Pakistani official as saying.

“In other words, the Russian president offered us a blank cheque,” the official added.

As reported by The Eurasian Times, Lavrov and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi last week agreed to cooperate in their fight against terrorism with the former promising to supply Pakistan with military equipment.

Lavrov also said an agreement was also reached on conducting additional joint military exercises such as the Arabian Monsoon maritime drill. The Russian foreign minister arrived in Islamabad after concluding his visit to India.

“We stand ready to strengthen the anti-terrorist potential of Pakistan, including by supplying Pakistan with special military equipment,” Lavrov had said, without giving details about the equipment.

s400-russia


Now, with the Pakistani official’s remark that Putin has given Islamabad a “blank cheque”, the possibility of the Islamic nation acquiring the S-400 cannot be ruled out.

Pak Toying With S-400 Idea?
Pakistan has been toying with the idea of acquiring the Russian S-400 air defense system ever since the news of India-Russia signing a deal on the weapon system emerged in 2017.

“Russia has good tanks, helicopters, electronic equipment, air defense systems that Pakistan may consider. S-400 is a big-ticket number and it will all depend on our budget,” a top military official was quoted as saying by Sputnik News on February 15, 2017.

At that time, questions were raised whether Pakistan would be able to spend that kind of money required to buy S-400. According to an analysis published in The Diplomat, Pakistan would require $2.5 billion to buy at least three regiments of S-400.

“Given that Pakistan was not able to or willing to pay $700 million for eight F-16 fighter jets (a clear budgetary priority) from the United States in 2016 following Washington’s refusal to provide Foreign Military Financing (FMF) support, it is highly doubtful that the country’s defense ministry would allocate $2 billion or more for a new missile air defense system in the near future given other defense priorities,” defense analyst Franz-Stefan Gady wrote.

India-Russia Pact
In October 2018, New Delhi and its old military ally Moscow formally inked a $5.2 billion deal for the weapon system during Russian President Putin’s visit to India. Under this, India would buy four to five regiments of Russian-made S-400 Triumf advanced Air Defense Systems.

The S-400 is considered the most advanced air defense system comprising radars, control equipment, and multiple types of surface-to-air missiles to confront and destroy almost all kinds of aerial targets — aircraft, drones, bombs, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles.

S400vsRAFALE


However, the US had warned India against the deal in the wake of the 2017 law, called Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

According to a recent Reuters report, Washington has told New Delhi that it is unlikely to get a waiver on its planned acquisition of Russian S-400 systems.

The Trump administration had in December imposed sanctions on Turkey for buying that weapon from Russia. Other countries that are facing US sanctions include Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

The Russian S-400 missile is considered the most lethal air defense system in the world, with the capability of bringing down advanced stealth fighters.

The US feels threatened by the S-400 missile, suspecting that it could be modified to intercept American fighter jets, including its “most advanced” F-35 stealth fighter jets.

Russia, on the other hand, believes that Washington is arms-twisting the countries which want to sign S-400 deals with Moscow.

“It wasn’t me who said the US exercised pressure on India but any other country which wanted to sign an agreement with Russia on the delivery of weapons… If the US says this overtly, we all will know, but we also know the reciprocal reaction,” Lavrov told reporters in New Delhi last week.

“With India, we do not discuss these statements by the US. Instead, we confirmed that we are going into diplomatic military cooperation. We have an intergovernmental committee. The military-technical cooperation has its own plan. We also discussed additional manufacturing of the Russian military equipment in India within the concept of made in India and in the concept of independent India. So here I don’t hear any fluctuations or changes from our Indian partners and friends,” he added.


Jaishankar’s slip of tongue ?


only the very naïve or unkind would think that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s slip of tongue in his opening remarks at the press interaction in Delhi last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was sitting next to him, was not just that – a slip of tongue. Describing the time-tested and very cordial nature of the relationship, Jaishankar said “India-US,” instead of “India-Russia.”
 

Vapnope

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I don't see India revoking the deal when the production of S400 is near completion. IFF India goes back on the deal, I am sure Russian will penalize India for that (A generic contract term applicable in most contracts). Also India would want to induct LR sam by this year even if US option is available.
 

Wikki019

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I highly doubt we will buy s400, budget problems as well as our establishment is west centric it will never go full in Sino-Russian bloc
 

Jugger

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Time is ripe for a new US fighter jet in IAF.
Preferably one which can have many common equipment with Tejas.
 

waz

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It's going to be very interesting if India will hold its nerve, it looks like sanctions are very much on the cards. If they go back on the Russians then it's the end of their relationship with them.
I've always thought India has had it spot on with its policy with other countries, however it seems they can't sit on fence anymore, especially with the US now insisting a side is picked.
 

Anik101

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There is no going back on S400 deal. Our men are already in Russia for training.
 

Hakikat ve Hikmet

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It's going to be very interesting if India will hold its nerve, it looks like sanctions are very much on the cards. If they go back on the Russians then it's the end of their relationship with them.
I've always thought India has had it spot on with its policy with other countries, however it seems they can't sit on fence anymore, especially with the US now insisting a side is picked.
A raging Super Bull, drunk to the brim, charging you at full speed isn’t a pleasant experience even for the best of the Matadors....
 

m52k85

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There is no going back on S400 deal. Our men are already in Russia for training.
That alone is no reason. Turkish pilots were also in US training on F-35.

Btw, dont get me wrong I really hope India does get the S-400. Much easier to deal with than the F-35
 
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Abid123

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I dont think Pakistan is considering the S-400? Anyway I dont see the point of buying the S-400 right now. I would rather wait a couple of years and order 2 regiments of the S-500. With a planned range of 600 km (370 mi) for anti-ballistic missile (ABM) and 500 km (310 mi) for air defence.
 

Hephaestus

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I highly doubt we will buy s400, budget problems as well as our establishment is west centric it will never go full in Sino-Russian bloc
I highly doubt you can afford one(Monetarily and sanction-wise). That said a Chinese knock-off is surely on the cards.
I reiterate India will not cancel S400.
I dont think Pakistan is considering the S-400? Anyway I dont see the point of buying the S-400 right now. I would rather wait a couple of years and order 2 regiments of the S-500. With a planned range of 600 km (370 mi) for anti-ballistic missile (ABM) and 500 km (310 mi) for air defence.
S-500. Wow! It would cost nearly $6B. No offence but where will you get the money from?
 

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