21 October, 2020

Adversarial Embraces

A US law that punishes defence, energy partners of Russia worries India, but also ties Trump in knots

His Point
Trump and Putin at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam
Photograph by Getty Images
Adversarial Embraces
outlookindia.com
2018-04-14T10:56:35+05:30

A new piece of legislation in the US, essentially aimed at imposing crippling sanctions on Russia, but one that, by extension, also seriously affects India, has sparked off a debate among policy-makers in New Delhi. Interestingly, this comes at a time when a recent Indian abstention on a crucial Russian resolution at The Hague has been interpreted as New Delhi’s att­empt at maintaining a safe distance from Moscow, to ensure minimum disruption in its current, close engagement with Washington and its Western allies.

The legislation, called Countering Ame­rica’s Adversaries Through San­ct­ions Act, or CAATSA, which was passed by the US Congress in August 2017, is fast turning into the eye of a new diplomatic storm. The fact the US and China are also in the throes of a trade war only makes matters worse for India, which has high stakes in all three relations.

The CAATSA proposes to impose sanctions on Russian entities in the inte­lligence, energy and defence sectors. But section 231 also imposes secondary sanctions on nations that engage...

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