Washington: India has taken significant steps to reduce military dependence on Russia, a top American Senator said, a day after urging President Joe Biden not to impose provisions of Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against New Delhi for buying the S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Moscow.

"We know that India is a responsible actor. It increasingly finds much in common with the United States. There's economic benefits, but also military and security cooperation, as well. Since the United States has designated India as a major defence partner in 2016, we've made serious strides to elevate our defence partnership in a dangerous world," Senator John Cornyn, a top Republican leader, said on Wednesday.

Cornyn, who is also co-chair of the powerful Senate India Caucus, said this at in a panel discussion on US-India Partnership in Today's Geo-Political Landscape hosted by the US India Friendship Council in association with the US India Business Council.

"One of the biggest threats to our growing relationship has been the possibility of sanctions for the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system. But I think what gives me confidence is that India has taken significant steps to reduce its reliance on Russian military equipment and has shown an interest in purchasing equipment from the United States and is working more closely with us based on shared values," Cornyn said.

"So not waiving these sanctions would achieve nothing, and perhaps derail the hard earned progress that we've made to strengthen our military cooperation," he said, a day after he and Senator Mark Warner, in a letter, urged President Biden to grant a national interest waiver to India as provided under CAATSA as this is in America's national security interest.

Republican Congressman Mike Waltz argued the case of an US-India alliance. For a number of reasons, this is the most important relationship of the 21st century. I believe that how things go vis-a-vis China will mean this can be a century of light or a century of darkness," he said.

Referring to the chaotic withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, he said he feared Kashmir might be the first casualty of that. "Unfortunately, I fear that the first place you may see billions of dollars of American equipment spreading is into Kashmir. That breaks my heart. And I fear for that. I think we're going to have to be prepared to work together," he said.

A day earlier, he and Nikki Haley, former US envoy to the UN, wrote an op-ed in the Foreign Policy magazine for a US-India alliance.

Swadesh Chatterjee, chairman of the US-India Friendship Council, said the relationship between the two countries has never been this good. But its full potential is yet to be realised, he added.

Congressman Brad Sherman said he was deeply concerned by the aggression of China towards our ally India, referring to the deadly clash between the militaries of the two countries in Galwan Valley last year.

China has continued its aggression with cyberattacks, including attacks on India's power grid, which could put civilians at risk. The rise in Chinese attacks on one of America's strongest partners is a threat, not only to India's security, but to our own, Sherman said.