S Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.Reuters

Indian Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Tuesday said he was confident that the White House officials will understand India's rationale for buying the contentious S-400 missile systems from Russia amid sanctions threat.

"India has made a decision on the S-400 and we have discussed that with the US government. I am reasonably convinced of the powers of my persuasion (sic)," Jaishankar was quoted as saying by PTI.

The US has threatened India multiple times under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), for purchasing the 400 km range S-400 Triumf air defence system from Russia.

While India has gone ahead with the defence deal, US President Donald Trump's administration ended special trade status for countries, including India, in May.

"It would be my hope that people understand why this particular transaction is important for us, so I think of your question to me is hypothetical," Jaishankar said while during his visit to the US think-tank, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in Washington DC.

Russian S-400 air defence mobile missile launching systems
Russian S-400 air defence mobile missile launching systems drive during a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, May 7, 2015. Russia will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two on May 9.REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

The external affairs minister, who is on a US visit, had defended India's defence procurement on Monday stating that the country's defence deals were its "sovereign right".

"We would not like any state to tell us what to buy or not to buy from Russia any more than we would like any state to tell us to buy or not buy from America," he had said.

"That freedom of choice is ours and we think it's in everybody's interest to recognise that," he added.

Last month, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov stated that the missile systems are "in strict accordance with the schedule" and will be delivered in "18-19 months".

The US had in 2018 imposed sanctions a Chinese military agency was sanctioned under CAATSA for purchasing the S-400 before. 

Washington has warned Turkey, who is also buying the air defence system from Russia, that it will deny its F-25 fighter aircraft defence deal if it goes ahead with the deal.