India cancelled 21 MiG-29 orders from Russia

MiG-29K crashed in Goa, India. Photo by Indian Navy.

India has cancelled orders for MiG-29 fighter jets, helicopters and anti-tank weapons from Russia in the last few weeks, a senior United States official claimed, according to a report in The Indian Express on Friday.

The official, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, made the statement before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday. India’s defence ministry has not responded to the claim as yet.

Lu said that it will be difficult for any country to continue purchasing military equipment from Russia after the United States imposed sanctions on Moscow.

India’s Defense Acquisition Council had approved the acquisition of 21 MiG-29 jets from Russia in 2020, according to ANI. In July 2021, Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation spokesperson, Valeria Reshetnikova, said that the Indian Air Force had received a tender request for the supply of the aircraft.

“The Russian side has transferred to Indian partners the commercial offer that is now being considered by the customer,” Reshetnikova had said.

‘Biden to decide on sanctions on India’

Meanwhile, Lu told the panel that it was for United States President Joe Biden to decide on whether to apply or waive sanctions on India, according to The Tribune.

The committee sought to know from Lu if Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, would be invoked against India for the purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia.

“What unfortunately I am not able to say is to prejudge the decisions of the President on the waiver issue or on the sanctions issue, or whether Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will bear on that decision,” Lu said.

CAATSA authorises the United States to impose sanctions against countries that buy military hardware from Russia. The United States has not yet imposed sanctions under the law against India.

But, the United States has imposed wide-ranging sanctions against Russia in the wake of its attack on Ukraine, but has said that it will not engage in a conflict with Russian troops in Ukraine.

India, meanwhile, has abstained from voting on three United Nations resolutions on the subject. The latest such resolution, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, deplored the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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