Russia will soon complete the supplies of the third regiment of the S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems to India as both sides are committed to the contract, Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov has said. “It will be completed in the very near future… Both sides are committed to complete the whole contract and we certainly will do that. Nothing prevents that,” Alipov said on Monday.
The Russian envoy to India was replying to a question on the missile system supplies at a conference on India-Russia ties. Russia has already completed supplies of the first two regiments of the missile systems. Asked whether he sees any role for India in ending the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Alipov said Moscow is open to any serious talks on ending it diplomatically.
“As my foreign minister says that we are open to any serious proposition whosoever offers them. We are open to any serious talks on ending it diplomatically,” he said. “At the moment, there are none. If India wants to take a more active part in that, we will certainly listen to India very very closely and we will examine all the proposals in a very serious manner,” he said.
“But whether India wants to get involved in this very very complicated conflict, I do not think that is a question for me.” Unlike many other leading powers, India has not directly criticised Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and it abstained from a vote at the UN platforms in condemning the Russian aggression. India has been pressing for the resolution of the crisis through diplomacy and dialogue.
The Russian envoy also described his country’s defence ties with India as “unprecedented”. “The licensed production in India of T-90 tanks, SU-30MKI fighters, AK-203 assault rifles and a whole lot of armaments and components fully comply with the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives,” he said. “The unique joint venture on supersonic cruise missile BrahMos is a role model. Russia and India are committed to all agreements, including the contract for the advanced S-400 Triumf air defence systems that is being implemented.”
In October 2018, India signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems, notwithstanding a warning by the US that going ahead with the contract may invite sanctions under the provisions of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Russia started delivery of the first regiment of the missile systems in December 2021 and it has been deployed to cover parts of the border with China in the northern sector as well as the frontier with Pakistan.