Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)


    In News

    • Key lawmakers continue to voice their support for a sanctions waiver for India for its purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia.

    What is the issue?

    • India is likely to begin taking delivery of the S-400 in November 2021. 
      • It would potentially activate U.S. sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). 

    Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act

    • CAATSA is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on 
      • Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
    • The Act empowers the US President to impose at least five of the 12 listed sanctions on persons engaged in 
      • A “significant transaction” with the Russian defence and intelligence sectors.
    • Its goal is to prevent revenue from flowing to the Russian Government.
    • It contains 12 types of sanctions. Of these, 2 sanctions may impact India’s relations with either Russia or the US.
    • First Sanction:
      • Prohibition of Banking transactions
        • India would not be able to make payments in US Dollars to Russia for the purchase of the S-400 systems.
    • Second sanction:
      • Export sanctions 
        • As it will deny the license for, and export of, any items controlled by the US to the sanctioned person 
        • It has the potential to completely derail the India-US Strategic and Defence partnership.

    Concerns for India

    • Could impact joint ventures
      • Like Indo Russian Aviation Ltd, Multi-Role Transport Aircraft Ltd and Brahmos Aerospace. 
    • Russian Origin Weapon Systems
      • It will also affect India’s purchase of spare parts, components, raw materials and other assistance.
      • India is using a large number of Russian developed Defence equipment like
        • Nuclear submarine INS Chakra, 
        • Kilo-class conventional submarine, 
        • Brahmos cruise missile, 
        • MiG 21/27/29 and Su-30 MKI fighters, 
        • Mi-series of helicopters, and 
        • Vikramaditya aircraft carrier

    S-400 Triumf air defence system

    • It integrates a multifunction radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control centre. 
    • It is the most dangerous operationally deployed modern long-range surface-to-air missile (MLR SAM) in the world.
    • It is considered much ahead of the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).
      • Thaad is a US anti-ballistic missile defence system.

    Way Ahead

    • CAATSA Waiver
      • Criteria: The USA President was given the authority in 2018 to waive CAATSA sanctions on a case-by-case basis.
      • India and the U.S. must keep the dialogue open either at the Congressional level or at the 2+2 level. 
    • Strategic Interests 
      • The defence procurement for India has become significant amid deadly clashes with China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). 
      • Apart from that another hostile neighbour i.e Pakistan also needs to be tackled.
    • Balancing foreign relations
      • Russia is an all-weather defence partner of India.
      • Russia facilitated India’s inclusion into SCO and the formation of the RIC doctrine. 
      • However, India needs to balance its relationship with both Russia and USA, so that its national interest is not compromised.
    • Building a peaceful world order 
      • India today is in a unique position to have a favourable relation with all great powers.
      • Thus, India must leverage this position to help in building a peaceful world order. 

    Source: TH