India is in talks with Russia to jointly manufacture the very powerful S-400 air defense missile system, Sergey Chemezov, the head of Russia’s state tech conglomerate Rostec, told Russian RBC in an interview.
The development will likely further antagonize the United States, which has repeatedly threatened strong sanctions on India and countries that buys such weapons from Russia.
“Yes, we are also discussing localization with India. A lot of equipment for which we sold a license to India: Su-30 aircraft, then a T-90 tank, BrahMos missiles were created with them together, on their territory, together with their scientists,” said Chemezov.
“Already all paid,” the Rostec head said when asked if all payments on Mumbai’s S-400 purchase have been cleared by India. Significantly, he added that Russia had moved away from dollar payments. “Therefore, basically we have different payment options. Either in national currency or a barter scheme,” he added.
Last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was in Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss ways to further advance bilateral cooperation.
India had signed a $5.43 billion deal with Russia for the purchase of five S-400s during the 19th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in New Delhi in October last year, which Washington had indicated may trigger Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov had said S-400 air defense missile systems will be delivered to India in strict accordance with the schedule.