US has said that it is working with partner countries, including India, to help them identify and avoid engaging in potentially sanctionable activity under the Countering America’s 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. A state department spokesperson said, the US has discussed CAATSA with the Indian government. The spokesperson was responding to a question on a statement by US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis a day earlier in which he had sought a waiver from sanctions under CAATSA for countries that are making a transition from their military dependence on Russia. Mattis said, the waiver will allow nations to build a closer security relationship with the US as they continue to transition from their reliance on Russian military equipment. He said, the US should strengthen its partners in key regions and should not leave them with no other option than to turn to Russia.
Though CAATSA targets Russia, it is having its unintended consequences on India which is planning to buy five S-400 Triumf air defence systems for around 4.5 billion dollars from Russia.