India’s Skillful Posturing With the US

 US secretaries of defense and state meet counterparts in Delhi; Prime Minister Narendra Modi embraces Russian President Vladimir Putin

Relations between the United States and India have gradually improved, but the world’s largest democracy has an independent streak as seen in two recent cases: First, India signed a multibillion deal to purchase a Russian air-defense missile system thereby risking sanctions approved by the US Congress in 2017. Second, the United States withdrew from the international agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and India is second only to China in purchasing Iranian oil. India hopes for an exemption on sanctions with both cases. “With the S-400 deal, India has ensured that Russia will remain the main supplier of high-tech defense equipment for the foreseeable future while challenging Washington on an issue now regarded as the primary national security challenge by many in the United States,” explains Harsh V Pant, professor of international relations and director, Studies at Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. He adds that sanctions for either case would be counterproductive. The US-Indo relationship has matured, he concludes, and the two countries continue to work on agreements that the United States signs with close defense partners for the sale of high-end technologies. – YaleGlobal