Our foreign policy is free: Gen. Rawat

‘We choose what is important for us’
As India faces possible U.S. sanctions for the S-400 missile deal with Russia, the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, on Sunday underscored that India had an “independent foreign policy” and the way forward was to see what was “strategically important for us.” He was delivering the General K.V. Krishna Rao Memorial lecture at Manekshaw Centre. Gen. Rawat, who has just returned from a visit to Russia, recalled a question from a Russian naval officer, while addressing a group of officers from various countries. He said he told the officer, “You can rest assured that while we may be associating with America in getting some technologies from them, we follow an independent policy.” The Russian officer had pointed out that India was “looking West towards America” and the U.S. which has imposed sanctions on Russia has threatened India with curbs, in case it continues to associate with Russia. The U.S. has remained non-committal on whether it would grant India a waiver from sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). A State Department spokesperson said there are “strict criteria” for considering a waiver and the waiver is “narrow.” Gen. Rawat said the Russians were very keen on associating with the Indian Army and defence forces. “Because they do understand that we are a strong Army, capable of standing up for what is right for us, based on our strategic thought process,” he said.
Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/our-foreign-policy-is-free-gen-rawat/article25152311.ece

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