The Biden administration is reportedly considering imposing sanctions against India in connection with its stockpile of military equipment from Russia. The West has been looking for more and more ways to impose consequences on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
Biden administration considers sanctions against India over Russia ties
According to The Hill, U.S. lawmakers heard testimony on Thursday from Donald Lu, assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs. Lu reported that the Biden administration is considering how threatening the historically close military relationship between India and Russia by imposing sanctions will affect U.S. security.
Lu said they’re looking at the question “very closely” and considering a broader question of whether to apply the sanctions under the Countering American Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) or to waive the sanctions. Lawmakers passed CAATSA in 2017 after the Kremlin interfered with U.S. elections.
It provides the authority to sanction transactions other nations have with the Russian intelligence and defense sectors. CAATSA also provides the president the authority to waive the sanctions, which was used for NATO ally Turkey until December 2020.
U.S., India and Russia
That’s when the Trump administration sanctioned Turkey in connection with its purchase of the Russian S400 missile defense system. Washington named India a “major defense partner” in 2016. The U.S. gives that unique designation to certain countries to elevate their defense trade and technology.
According to The Hill, defense contracts between India and the U.S. have grown to $20 billion since 2008. India also participates in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the U.S., Australia and Japan, a group focused on countering Chinese ambitions to control the Indo-Pacific region.
The White House said President Joe Biden spoke to Quad leaders on Thursday to talk about the Russian war against Ukraine and its implications for the Indo-Pacific region.