In news– The US House of Representatives has voted in favour of granting India a waiver from CAATSA sanctions, allowing India to purchase the S-400 missile defence system from Russia without being subjected to punitive measures.
What is CAATSA?
- CAATSA or Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act is a US legislation that imposes punitive measures, by way of sanctions, for defence and strategic engagement with “American adversaries” like Iran, North Korea, and Russia.
- It was passed in 2017.
- It was passed in the wake of Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 presidential election, and was designed to punish Russia by discouraging trade with its defence and intelligence sectors.
- The CAATSA Sanctions represent the implementation of multiple legal authorities.
- Some of these authorities are in the form of executive orders issued by the President and some other authorities are public laws (statutes) passed by the Congress.
- These authorities are further codified by Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in its regulations which are published in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
- OFAC has been charged with enforcing the provisions of the law.
United States-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (ICET)
- The recently proposed amendment to CAATSA also mentioned the ICET.
- It is co-led by the National Security Council Secretariat in India and the U.S. National Security Council.
- ICET would forge closer linkages between government, academia and industry of the two countries in areas such as AI, quantum computing, 5G/6G, biotech, space and semiconductors.
- The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.
- It is fitted with a radar and anti missile system.
- It fits in all missile systems and can be configured to long-range, semi long-range, medium-range and short-range systems depending on the preference.
- In October 2018, India signed a USD 5 billion deal with Russia to buy five units of the S-400 air defence missile systems.