Defense PolicyForeign PolicyInternational Relations

The India-Russia Defense Deal

Posted on in Defense Policy · Foreign Policy · International Relations

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to deal with Russia to purchase the S-400 missile defense system. The move could result in the United States slapping sanctions on India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for India-Russia Defense Deal


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“ET View: Pursuing an independent path”

“Opinion | India, Russia must recalibrate ties to reflect global bilateral interests”

“Opinion: Can Putin’s visit to India kill two birds with one stone?”

“India should sign Russian defense deal”


  • Writing: What are some reasons why states wish to purchase S-400 anti-aircraft weapon system?
  • Debate: The United States should impose sanctions on India for purchasing the S-400 system from Russia.
  • Poll: Do you believe the S-400 purchase by India will exacerbate tensions with China?
  • Short Answer: Why might the United States choose not to impose sanctions on India?

Current events quiz:

1) Who are the prime targets for India once they have the S-400 Air Defense System?

a. Pakistan
b. Tibet
c. Iran
d. Both a and b

2) The United States and India signed their own defense deal ________,

a. last week
b. last month
c. last year
d. The United States and India have never signed their own defense deal.

3) The U.S. is warning India against this deal because ________.

a. the S-400 Air Defense System in faulty
b. it would trigger sanctions under U.S. law
c. it would harm the peaceful relationship between the U.S. and India
d. it would be costly

4) Under a new U.S. law, the purchase of Russian defense equipment invites sanctions, but New Delhi has pinned hopes on a U.S. waiver. (T/F)

5) The United States is India’s biggest military equipment supplier, accounting for 62% of India’s total weapons imports from the past five years. (T/F)

6) This deal totals $5 million U.S. dollars. (T/F)


1) D

2) B

3) B

4) T

5) F

6) F

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