New Delhi [India], January 5 (ANI): Outgoing US Ambassador Kenneth Juster on Tuesday said that sanctions under Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) were "never designed to harm friends and allies".
He also noted that India seeks to keep its options open in the purchase of defence equipment from any country but there are also limitations and choices need to be made because systems get more technologically advanced.
In his farewell policy address on 'Ambition and Achievement in the US-India Partnership' here, Juster said that India will have to decide how much it matters to diversify its sources of procurement.
"CAATSA sanctions were never designed to harm friends and allies. They were aimed at a particular country. There are many variables involved in it," Juster said.
He was answering a query on whether India will face sanctions like Turkey under CAATSA, a US law which authorises its government to impose sanctions on countries that purchase major defence equipment from Russia.
India had signed a USD 5.43-billion deal with Russia for the purchase of five S-400 systems in October 2018.
US had imposes sanctions on Turkey last year for procuring S-400 missile defence system from Russia.
"India seeks to keep its options open in purchase from any country but there are also limitations and choices need to be made because systems get more technologically advanced. For example Country A that does not get along with country B will be less willing to sell technology that could potentially be compromised to country B. We have not hit that point yet but that could come down in the future," he said.
Juster said India will have to decide "how much it matters to get the most sophisticated technology, how much it matters to be as intra-operable as it can be within in its technology and potentially with other friendly forces and how much it matters to diversify its sources of procurement".
"Only the Government of India can decide those trade laws but that could be a constraint that ultimately affects the level of sophistication at the highest end of the technology transfer in the broader defence relationship," he said.
In his speech, Juster said Indo-Pacific region needs stability, leadership and a democratic model for development that does not threaten the sovereignty of other countries and a strong and democratic India is an important partner to promote peace and prosperity.
He said that the Indo-Pacific is particularly significant for US-India relationship because "it recognises the reality that India and Indian ocean are inextricably tied to East Asia and Pacific".
"No country has a strong and robust defence and counter-terrorism relationship with India as does the United States," he said.
The Ambassador also said that the Indo-Pacific region encompasses the fastest and largest growing economies in the world.
The US Ambassador said that in the past four years, the United States and India have shown the ambition to have a free and stable Indo-Pacific.
"The concept of Indo-Pacific has been many years in the making. It is in the past four years that our countries have shown the ambition to turn it into reality," he said.
Juster said that in 2017 President Trump described the US vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific "as sovereign and independent nations with diverse cultures can prosper side by side and thrive in freedom and peace".
He also said that the United States is dedicated to supporting India's rise on the world stage and New Delhi's expanding economy is likely to become an important driver for growth in the Indo-Pacific region. (ANI)