Austin says discussed with India its planned purchase of Russian air defence systems

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin attends a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi in Tokyo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Visiting United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he and his Indian counterpart had discussed India's planned purchase of Russia's S400 air defence system, adding that Washington had asked all its partners to stay away from Russian equipment to avoid U.S. sanctions.

There has been no delivery of S400 systems to India and so the possibility of sanctions was not discussed, Austin told reporters in New Delhi on Saturday.

Austin is making the first visit by a top member of U.S. President Joe Biden's administration to India as part of efforts to forge an alliance of countries seeking to push back against China's assertiveness in the region.

(Reporting by Aditi Shah; editing by Jason Neely)