U.S. imposes CAATSA sanctions on Turkey for S-400 Purchase
15 Dec 2020

The U.S. has imposed sanctions on NATO-ally Turkey for its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defence system, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday. The issue of sanctions under Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for purchase of Russian arms is of particular interest to New Delhi, which is also in the process of buying the S-400 from Moscow.

“Today’s action sends a clear signal that the United States will fully implement CAATSA Section 231 and will not tolerate significant transactions with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors,” Mr Pompeo said on Monday.

Sanctions were imposed on Turkey’s main defence procurement agency the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) for “knowingly engaging in a significant transaction with Rosoboronexport (ROE), Russia’s main arms export entity” the office of the US State Department spokesperson said in a statement.

These SSB sanctions comprise of a ban on granting specific U.S. export licenses and authorisations for any goods or technology, a ban on loans or credits by U.S. financial institutions totaling more than $10 million in any 12-month period, a ban on U.S. Export-Import Bank assistance for exports and mandated U.S. opposition to loans by international financial organisations to SSB.

Additionally, sanctions will include full blocking sanctions and visa restrictions on SSB president Ismail Demir and other officials.

“We very much regret that this has been necessary, and we very much hope that Turkey will work with us to resolve the S-400 problem as quickly as possible,” said the State Department’s Christopher Ford, who is in charge of security and non-proliferation.

By Sriram Lakshman, The Hindu, 15 December 2020

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