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India follows an independent policy, says Army Chief

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Amid fears of U S sanctions over the deal with Russia, Bipin Sunday asserted that follows an independent policy and was also keen on getting the helicopters and other from

and on Friday signed a multi-billion-dollar deal to procure the Trimuf air defence system, which could attract sanctions under the Countering American Activities Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

The act is primarily aimed at countering Russia, and

and concluded the deal notwithstanding the US warning that it would be a "focus area" for it to implement punitive sanctions against a nation undertaking "significant" business deals with the Russians.

Gen. Rawat, who returned Saturday night after a six-day visit to Russia, held talks with military officials of that country to enhance cooperation between the two countries.

He said the Russians were very keen in associating with the and defence forces. Because theydo understand that we are a strong Army, capableof standing up to what is right for usbased on our strategic thoughtprocess, he said.

The was speaking at the lecture here.

On his Russian visit, Gen. recalled a posed to him by a Russian that India seemed to be looking westwards at America, which has put sanctions on Russia, and that has also threatened to impose restrictions on for dealing with

To this, responded saying, "Yes, we do appreciate that therecould be sanctions on us, but we follow an independent policy, he said.

Rawat also sought to assuage Russian concerns over its growing ties with the US.

You (Russia) can be rest assured (that) while we may be associating with in getting some technology, but we follow an independent policy.

I told them while we are talking sanctions and you are questioning on sanctions, and Mr. Narendra Modi, at this juncture, are signing the treaty on purchase of S-400 weapon system inspite of the fact that we may face challenges from in the future, the Army said.

Rawat said India was looking forward to procuring helicopters and other and technology from

He said was looking to get space based systems and technologies from to enhance its space capabilities.

There is no end in sight to the manner in which we can cooperate with your country. I think the way forward is to see what is best for the nation, strategically important for us, he had said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, October 07 2018. 16:30 IST