Will India circumvent sanctions against Russia? The lessons of the sanctions against Iran
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a series of sanctions were imposed on Russia. These sanctions target banks, military exports and oil refineries. But it is questionable whether the sanctions will work. China, India and many other countries are unlikely to follow the line.
But it is not India or China but Pakistan that the West regards as a pet peeve. In a joint letter, 22 diplomats based in Islamabad wrote a coercive letter to the Pakistani government to align themselves. The Pakistani Prime Minister retorted that his country was not a slave to the policies of any government. It is strange that despite India’s abstention at the UN, no one reprimanded her.
India’s dependence on Russia
It is India and not Pakistan that imports a lot of military equipment from Russia. India understands that without sustained military supplies, 60% for all three services, from Russia, it cannot maintain its military posture against its twin enemies, China and Russia.
India’s Department of Military Affairs is considering innovative ways to circumvent sanctions. Both countries have commercial experience in circumventing sanctions.
In August 2021, Victor N. Kladov, who heads Rostech, announced that his country had concluded military deals worth $15 billion with India since 2018.
These included the $5.5 billion purchase of five Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf self-propelled surface-to-air missile systems, the construction of four Admiral Grigorovich Project 1135.6M frigates for $2.5 billion, and the licensed production of 601,427 Kalashnikov Ak-203 assault rifles. rifles for 960 million dollars. In addition, leasing a Project 971 ‘Akula’ (Schuka-B) class nuclear powered submarine (SSN) from 2025 to the Indian Navy (IN), would cost $3 billion, bringing expenditures at nearly $12 billion just for these four aforementioned weapon systems.
Add to that payouts for launchers and missiles for IAs 9K338 Igla-S (SA-24 ‘Grinch’) man-portable air defense systems, 300mm rockets for Smerch multiple rocket launchers and Mango armor-piercing 125 mm, fin- stabilized disposable sabot ammunition for T-90S main battle tanks or MBTs, as well as various ammunition.
In July 2018, India signed a $654 million contract to execute the mid-life upgrade of four of its former Type 877 “Kilo” class diesel-electric submarines. Procurement is underway for the purchase of spares and components for over 700 of the IAF’s fixed-wing combat and transport platforms and helicopters, over 3,000 T72M1 and T-90S MBTs of AI and some 2,000 BMP infantry fighting vehicles, as well as the Russian aircraft carrier and its air combat complement.
India has already paid a 15% advance of about $2.25 billion to Russia for major purchases. India still owes Russia $12.75 billion for deliveries.
In August 2019, the Russian bank VTB signed foreign exchange agreements with counterparts in India and China to dodge the CAATSA law (Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act) imposed by Washington.
In August 2018, India and Rosonboronexport, the Russian defense export agency, entered into an agreement whereby the public sector Syndicate Bank in Delhi agreed to transfer rupees/rubles directly to Russian Sherbank, removing the normally current letters of credit. The first installment of the equivalent of $40 million was transferred in Rupees/Rubles in September 2019 as payment for the modernization of an IN ‘Kilo’ class vessel.
Since the mid-1960s, India has acquired more than $70 billion worth of arms from Moscow, more than half of which, or $35.82 billion, were purchased between 2000 and 2020, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
The Russian Ambassador-designate in Delhi, Denis Alipov, pointed out that these mechanisms still exist for bilateral defense trade between India and Moscow. He added that much depended on the “readiness” of Indian partners, overly cautious about their financial exposure to the US and European markets, to continue doing business despite the sanctions.
The general opinion in India, as expressed by military circles, is that it was “imperative” for the Ministry of Defense to find ways to pay Russia for various equipment, without which the operational capacity of the forces Indian armies would be “severely undermined” over the next few years. 12-18 months. Currently, the Indian Armed Forces must depend on existing spare parts stocks, war waste reserves and ultimately cannibalizing equipment to maintain their operational influence.
Futile impact of sanctions against Iran
It was the United States itself which, during the time of the Shah, encouraged Iran to develop a nuclear program, whether for peaceful purposes or not.
Despite IAEA rebukes and tougher sanctions, Iran has not suspended its nuclear enrichment program. Regime change stayed away. The only visible impact of the sanctions has been protests over the price of chicken (a staple) and rising unemployment. Iran’s maddening non-cooperation continues despite a flurry of warnings, including those from the White House and 10 Downing Street.
Were the sanctions imposed after consideration?
Several authors, including John Galtung, Miroslav, Wallensteen, Schlesinger, Hufbauer, Garg, Jefferey Scot, Kimberley Elliot, Nye, and Franklin L Levin have attempted to define, illustrate, and classify sanctions. Generally, sanctions are categorized as diplomatic, communicative and economic, but their impact is complex.
The experience of sanctions in some countries shows that they strengthen “perverse” regimes instead of weakening them. In response to the seizure and detention of American diplomats and advisers in Tehran, the United States froze Iranian assets and called on allied governments in 1979 to take similar action and end their trade with Iran. Iran. European industrial powers have announced their cooperation. But, one by one, they resumed their commercial relations with Iran.
Isn’t it strange that despite US restrictions, Iran has never run out of parts for its refineries or the US railroad? Several European multinational banks refused to declare Tehran in default on its financial obligations and thus mitigated the effect of American sanctions.
Cases of ineffective sanctions on multiple countries abound. Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the United States halted the export of 17 million metric tons of grain to the then USSR. But Australia, Argentina, Canada and the European Union have defied the sanctions. As a result, the Soviet Union was able to import 31 million metric tons of grain. The US ban on oil and gas equipment exports to the Soviet Union following the imposition of martial law in Poland was also ineffective. The European Union did not toe the American line. Sanctions against Iraq have not worked either. And the United States had to opt for a total invasion.