The United States has an India problem, and it’s all about Russia. In 2018, India agreed to buy five Russian S-400 missile systems for the whopping price of $5.4 billion. The highly advanced S-400 system is considered on par with the United States’ best air defense weapons system, the Patriot missile. It’s the same missile system that led the outgoing Trump administration to impose U.S. sanctions on Turkey in December 2020. Now, India is next in line for similar sanctions—and that prospect has seriously strained bilateral relations, threatened the United States’ own defense sales in India, and called into question President Joe Biden’s commitment to working with allies to confront China.
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