MOSCOW (Sputnik) – At least 13 countries have expressed their interest in purchasing the Russian S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile systems instead of US equipment despite the likelihood of provoking Washington’s sanctions, media reported citing people with first-hand knowledge of a US intelligence assessment.
Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam were among the countries that had already engaged in talks on buying the Russian missile systems, the CNBC broadcaster reported on Wednesday.
READ MORE: US May Still Slap Turkey With Sanctions Over S-400 ‘Threat’ to F-35 — Reports
Washington expected that several countries would yield to the US pressure and abandon their plans to purchase the Russian equipment, the outlet added.
“Many of these countries do not want to wait for US regulatory hurdles … The S-400 has less export restrictions and the Kremlin is willing to expedite sales by skipping over any regulatory hurdles. It’s like buying it off the shelf,” one of the sources told the broadcaster.
Another source noted that S-400 had been more powerful, in terms of capability, than the US most capable Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
“No other US system can match the S-400’s ability to protect large swathes of airspace at such long ranges,” the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said.
Sanctions over the purchase of the Russian military equipment could be triggered under the US Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which came into force in 2017 and is set to punish Moscow for it alleged meddling in the US 2016 presidential election, something vehemently denied by Russia.
READ MORE: Russia to Deliver Su-35, S-400 to China No Later Than 2020 — Rostec
In September, Washington imposed sanctions on China over its purchase of Su-35 fighter jets in 2017 and S-400 system-related equipment in 2018.
Apart from China, India and Turkey have also reached agreements on the purchases of the missile systems from Russia. Turkey’s plans have, particularly, been a point of concern for the United States since Ankara is Washington’s NATO ally.
The Saudi authorities have also been openly engaged in talks with Russia on the missile system purchase.
S-400 is the next-generation mobile missile system which can carry three different types of missiles capable of destroying a variety of aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range, from reconnaissance aircraft to ballistic missiles.