The Russian and Indian governments signed the S-400 surface-to-air missile contract in rubles.
Speaking in Havana, Cuba, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said of the S-400 agreement, “The contract has been signed in rubles.” Deputy Prime Minister Borisov did not specify whether other recently-announced contracts — such as the sale of two frigates to India — are also to be carried out in rubles. The minister is in Cuba to discuss military-technical cooperation with that country, which Russia recently extended a military assistance loan.
Deputy Prime Minister Borisov added that Almaz-Antey will ramp up production in order to ensure that S-400s are delivered to the Russian military as well as export customers on time. China, India, and Turkey are all procuring the S-400, while a number of other states have indicated interest in the system. Turkey, according to Borisov, also has an option on its contract.
The S-400 deal was completed earlier in October, during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India at the start of the month. New Delhi has reportedly purchased up to five regiment sets of S-400 launchers, at a cost of $5.2 billion (RUB 341 billion). Alexander Mikheev, the head of Rosoboronexport, told media that Russian and Indian banks will handle the financial details of the contract.
In response to American sanctions on the Russian defense industry, Moscow is now working to transfer arms export contracts from payment in dollars to payment in national currencies. This effort is a component of Russia’s broader plans to convert much of its bilateral trade to using national currencies.