Pompeo lands in India with a bag of ‘freedom’ offers one doesn’t simply refuse

The top US diplomat has landed in New Delhi, aiming to pressure the Indian government into rejecting Russian S-400 air defense systems and China’s Huawei mobile tech in favor of “better” military and trade deals with Washington.

Expanding cooperation in energy, aviation, space, and defense fields will top Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s agenda during his three-day visit to India, the State Department said just as their boss landed in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.

Pompeo is expected to pressure India into compliance on a number of issues, including the S-400 missile defense deal with Russia, the purchase of Iranian and Venezuelan crude oil, and limiting Huawei’s access to the massive South Asian market that Washington is now keen to capture.

But while Pompeo is bringing a bag full of American goodies to the discussion table, India has made it explicitly clear over the last few months that it will not bow to US pressure at the expense of its own strategic goals, regardless of how tempting the offers might be.

Despite the tough talk from Washington, Narendra Modi’s government still expects to be granted a waiver from sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which the US has repeatedly threatened to introduce if New Delhi goes ahead with its $5 billion purchase of the Russian rockets.

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