India-Russia defence cooperation, particularly the proposed Indian acquisition of the S-400 air defence system, continued to be the focus of attention of US Congresspersons and officials of the Trump Administration, who warned India that this deal (and India-Russia defence cooperation in general) would attract American sanctions under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act). In separate explicit media statements, both India’s Defence Minister and its Ambassador to Russia said India would not let CAATSA veto its defence cooperation with Russia. Towards end-June, it was reported that the Defence Acquisitions Council had approved the terms of purchase of the S-400.

India’s vote against the British resolution in the OPCW was obviously in support of Russia, though India should even otherwise be concerned at such efforts to circumvent treaty provisions and UN Security Council jurisdiction. PM Modi’s clarification in his recent Shangri La speech in Singapore – that India does not see the Indo-Pacific Region as a strategy or as a club of limited members – was perhaps intended both for Russia and China.


June 30, 2018

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About the Author

Ambassador PS Raghavan

Former Ambassador of India to Russia; Convener, National Security Advisory Board

Born in 1955, Ambassador Raghavan holds a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Physics and a B.E. in Electronics & Communications Engineering. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1979. From 1979 to 2000, he had diplomatic assignments in USSR, Poland, United Kingdom, Vietnam and South Africa, interspersed with assignments in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi. From 2000 to 2004, he was Joint Secretary in the Indian Prime Minister's Office dealing with Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Energy, Space, Defence and National Security. Thereafter, he was Ambassador of India to Czech Republic (2004 - 2007) and to Ireland (2007 - 2011).

He was Chief Coordinator of the BRICS Summit in New Delhi (March 2012) and Special Envoy of the Government of India to Sudan and South Sudan (2012-13). Ambassador Raghavan conceptualized and piloted the creation of the Development Partnership Administration (DPA) in MEA, which implements and monitors India’s economic partnership programs in developing countries, with an annual budget of $1-1.5 billion. He headed DPA in 2012-13. From March 2013 to January 2014, he oversaw the functioning of the Administration, Security, Information Technology and other related Divisions of MEA. Since October 2013, he was also Secretary [Economic Relations] in MEA, steering India’s bilateral and multilateral external economic engagement. Ambassador Raghavan retired from the Indian Foreign Service in January 2016, after serving from 2014 as Ambassador of India to Russia. Since September 2016, he is Convenor of the National Security Advisory Board of the Government of India.

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