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Working with India to help avoid sanctions, says US

The US today said it is working with partner countries, including India, to help them identify and avoid engaging in potentially sanctionable activity under the Countering Americas Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). The state department asserted that it is fully committed to implementing CAATSA under which sanctions kick in against countries that purchase significant military equipment from Russia. The spokesperson was responding to a question on a statement by US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis a day earlier in which he had sought waiver from sanctions under CAATSA for countries that are making a transition from their military dependence on Russia. Providing the secretary of state with a CAATSA waiver authority, Mattis said, doing so allows nations to build a closer security relationship with the US as they continue to transition from their reliance on Russian military equipment. The state department tended to differ from the stand taken by the Pentagon on CAATSA. Though the Act targets Russia, it is having its unintended consequences on India which is planning to buy five S-400 Triumf air defence systems for around USD 4.5 billion from Russia, that US officials say could be considered as a significant military purchase.

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