Washington [US], December 15 (ANI): The United States on Monday (local time) imposed sanctions on Turkey for purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia and urged Ankara to resolve the problem "immediately in coordination with the US".
The US has imposed full blocking sanctions and visa restrictions on Ismail Demir, the president of SSB; Faruk Yigit, SSB's vice president; Serhat Gencoglu, SSB's Head of the Department of Air Defense and Space; and Mustafa Alper Deniz, Program Manager for SSB's Regional Air Defense Systems Directorate.
According to an official statement issued by the State Department, the US has imposed sanctions on the Republic of Turkey's Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) pursuant to Section 231 of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for knowingly engaging in a significant transaction with Rosoboronexport, Russia's main arms export entity, by procuring the S-400 surface-to-air missile system.
"The sanctions include a ban on all US export licenses and authorisations to SSB and an asset freeze and visa restrictions on Dr Ismail Demir, SSB's president, and other SSB officers," the statement said.
Under the CAATSA 231, at least five of the 12 sanctions described in Section 235 of CAATSA (CAATSA 235) are imposed on any person determined to have knowingly engaged in a significant transaction with a person that is a part of, or operates for or on behalf of, the defense or intelligence sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation. This authority was delegated to the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, on September 29, 2017.
Speaking about the sanctions, State Secretary Michael Pompeo said that today's sanctions on Turkey's SSB demonstrates the US will fully implement CAATSA and the US will not tolerate significant transactions with Russia's defense sector.
"Despite our warnings, Turkey moved ahead with its purchase and testing of the S-400 system from Russia. Today's sanctions on Turkey's SSB demonstrates the US will fully implement CAATSA. We will not tolerate significant transactions with Russia's defense sector," Pompeo said in a tweet.
He asserted that Turkey decided to move ahead with the procurement and testing of the S-400, despite the availability of alternative, NATO-interoperable systems to meet its defense requirements.
"Turkey's decision has resulted in its suspension and pending removal from the global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter partnership," he added.
Pompeo further urged Turkey to resolve the S-400 problem immediately in coordination with the US, stating that Turkey is a "valued ally and an important regional security partner for the United States, and we seek to continue our decades-long history of productive defense-sector cooperation by removing the obstacle of Turkey's S-400 possession as soon as possible." (ANI)