The US today stated 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)’.
On 15 June 2017, the US Senate voted 98 to 2 for this bill (an amendment to the Iran Sanctions Bill), which was in turn rooted in a bill introduced in January last year by a group of senators over Russia′s continued involvement in the wars in Ukraine and Syria. It was also based on Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 elections. The bill was designed to ‘expand the punitive measures previously imposed by executive orders’ and ‘convert them into law.’
“We have discussed CAATSA with the Government of India, and the United States is working with our partners including India to help them identify and avoid engaging in potentially sanctionable activity,” a US State Department Spokesperson said.
Though the Act targets Russia, it is having it is having unintended consequences on India. India was planning to buy five S-400 Triumf Air Defence Systems for $4.5 billion from Russia. The US considers this as a significant military purchase for India from Russia in terms of military artillery.
The three main components of the CAATSA Act is “Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017”, “Countering Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia Act of 2017” and “Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis will travel to India for the dialogue. The dialogue will be seen as a vehicle to elevate the strategic relationship between the two countries.
“This administration is fully committed to implementing CAATSA, including Section 231, which provides for sanctions on any person determined to knowingly engage in a significant transaction with a person that is a part of, or operates for or on behalf of the defense or intelligence sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation” added the US Department Spokesperson.