Washington has no right to tell New Delhi what to buy from Moscow, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told reporters during a visit to the United States, commenting on plans to purchase the Russian-made S-400 missile systems.
"We have always maintained that what we buy - the sourcing of military equipment - is very much a sovereign right," he said, as cited by NDTV, TASS reports.
"We would not like any state to tell us what to buy or not to buy from Russia any more than we would like any state to tell us what to buy or not buy from America," Jaishankar added. "That freedom of choice is ours and we think it's in everybody's interest to recognize that," the Indian top diplomat emphasized. At the same time, he said that India and the United States were discussing Washington’s concerns about the S-400 purchase.
New Delhi announced plans to buy the S-400 systems back in 2015. A contract for the S-400 delivery, worth $5.43, was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India in 2018, causing outrage from Washington that keeps threatening to impose sanctions on countries purchasing weapons and military equipment from Moscow.
The S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range ones, and can also be used against ground objectives. The S-400 system can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 35 km.