Tuesday February 18, 2020
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India-Russia Sign An Air Defense System Deal

Putin said that Russia places a top priority on its India relationship and the two countries had concurrent positions on key global issues.

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Russian S-400 air defense missile systems are on display during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia. VOA

India has signed a deal worth more than $5 billion to buy five sophisticated air defense missile systems from Russia that could trigger sanctions by the United States.

The agreement for the purchase of the S-400 surface-to-air missile systems was sealed Friday in New Delhi as Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India and held a summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Although the deal was not mentioned when the two leaders appeared before reporters, a joint statement after the talks said that the two sides welcomed the agreement.

The deal, said analysts, demonstrates that India is seeking a balance as it steadily grows strategic ties with Washington, but is unwilling to forgo its long-standing defense partnership with Russia.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrive ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, VOA

Washington has warned that the purchase of the air defense system would be a “significant transaction” violating a U.S. law passed last year under which countries trading with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors face the threat of sanctions.

New Delhi, which does not want to jeopardize its growing ties with Washington, is optimistic about avoiding U.S. sanctions.

In talks with U.S. officials, India has stressed its need for the air defense system to strengthen its capabilities against the might of China, whose ambitions are moving New Delhi and Washington closer.

“If the U.S. thinks India is an important partner in the Indo Pacific, they will find a way out,” said political analyst Manoj Joshi at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, pointing out that India is not bound to follow U.S. law.

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Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, wikimedia commons

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, Jinnie Lee, said that the law is “not intended to impose damage to the military capabilities of our allies or partners.” She did not comment on the deal, but said that any waivers would be considered on a transaction by transaction basis.

U.S. officials have said there is no guarantee of a waiver from the Trump administration, which has imposed sanctions on China’s military for the purchase of the same system. The deal figured in discussions in New Delhi when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited India last month.

Indian Air Force Chief B.S. Dhanoa has said that the S-400 system would be a “booster shot” for the Indian air force. The S-400 is Russia’s most advanced long-range, surface-to-air missile system and can take down enemy aircraft from the ground.

India is the world’s largest purchaser of arms and Russia its biggest supplier. In recent years, the U.S. has also become a significant source, with purchases adding up to $15 billion over the past decade.

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Mr. Narendra Modi

Political analyst Joshi said the deal would help restore ties between India and Moscow on an even keel — relations between the Cold War allies had cooled somewhat in recent years as New Delhi’s ties with Washington blossomed. The contract for the air defense system is one of the largest handed out by India.

After the summit, Modi spoke of a “trusted” and “special and privileged partnership” with Moscow as he addressed reporters along with Putin.

“Russia has stood by India through time and has played a crucial role in India’s growth story,” he said.

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Putin said that Russia places a top priority on its India relationship and the two countries had concurrent positions on key global issues.

Eight agreements signed by the two countries include pacts for Moscow to build six nuclear power plants in India and cooperate with the Indian space agency in sending a manned mission to space. (VOA)

Next Story

itel Releases “Vision 1”, Big Battery Phone at Rs 5,499

itel Vision 1, India's 1st waterdrop smartphone

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itel launched a category disruptor called "Vision 1" with HD+ IPS waterdrop display and big battery at Rs 5,499 in India. Wikimedia Commons

itel, the leading smartphone brand from Transsion India on Monday launched a category disruptor called “Vision 1” with HD+ IPS waterdrop display and big battery at Rs 5,499 in India.

The Vision 1 comes packed with free itel Bluetooth wireless headset worth Rs 799 from its recently launched accessories portfolio and also an instant cashback offer of Rs 2,200+25GB additional data from Reliance Jio, all together at Rs 5,499, the company said.

Other features of the phone include 15.46cm (6.088-inch) HD+ IPS waterdrop with incell technology and 2.5D curved fully laminated display and 4000mAh high capacity battery, among others. The phone comes with 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage expandable up to 128GB.

The phone brings the power of enhanced Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered dual camera, dual security features includingmultifunctional fingerprint sensor and face unlock, dual active 4G VoLTE and VoWifi support.

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Features of the itel phone include 15.46cm (6.088-inch) HD+ IPS waterdrop with incell technology and 2.5D curved fully laminated display and 4000mAh high capacity battery, among others. (Representational Image). Pixabay

“Since the brand launch in India in 2016, itel has come a long way and has established itself as the leader in less than 5K segment as per Q3 and Q4 Counterpoint Reports of 2019. This remarkable success in a short span is a testimony of itel’s magical product portfolio, that is based on the needs and demands of customers, backed by extensive market research,” Arijeet Talapatra, CEO, Transsion Holdings India, said in a statement.

Featuring a sleek 8.5 mm design, itel Vision 1 is topped with 500 nits brighter screen for higher transmittance that provides an extra glow to the outdoor viewing experience. It is further adorned with 19:5:9 aspect ratio and 1560×720 resolution for immersive and cinematic video viewing.

itel said Vision 1 provides with 820 hours standby, 24 hours’ average usage, 45 hours of playing music, 8 hours of playing video and 7 hours of gaming. The smartphone comes equipped with 8MP + 0.08MP AI dual rear camera with flashlight, configured in a unique camera deco design, adding to the premium look and feel.

The camera has AI beauty mode, portrait mode, HDR, that helps in smart recognition, automatic adjustments of the camera effects, capturing sharper objects with greater details.

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The front 5MP selfie camera with AI beauty mode houses flashlight to ensure bright and clear selfie, even in low-light areas. Running on the latest Android Pie 9 OS, Vision 1 is powered with 1.6GHz octa-core processor for seamless multitasking functionality. (IANS)