Today the United State Secretary State Michael Pompeo announced that the United States is imposing 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 U.S. export licenses and authorizations to SSB and an asset freeze and visa restrictions on Dr. Ismail Demir, SSB’s president, and other SSB officers.
The United States made clear to Turkey at the highest levels and on numerous occasions that its purchase of the S-400 system would endanger the security of U.S. military technology and personnel and provide substantial funds to Russia’s defense sector, as well as Russian access to the Turkish armed forces and defense industry. Turkey nevertheless 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. This decision resulted in Turkey’s suspension and pending removal from the global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter partnership.
“We want to thank Congress, the Trump Administration, and Secretary Pompeo on these historic sanctions which are the first step in holding Turkey’s regime accountable towards its international and domestic policies. These sanctions should be immediately and fully enforced, without waiver and continued by the incoming Biden administration,” stated Sevak Khatchadorian, Chair of the Armenian Council of America.
The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Treasury, has selected the following sanctions from CAATSA Section 235, as implemented by Executive Order (E.O.) 13849, to impose on SSB:
- a prohibition on granting specific U.S. export licenses and authorizations for any goods or technology transferred to SSB (Section 235(a)(2));
- a prohibition on loans or credits by U.S. financial institutions to SSB totaling more than $10 million in any 12-month period (Section 235(a)(3));
- a ban on U.S. Export-Import Bank assistance for exports to SSB (Section 235(a)(1));
- a requirement for the United States to oppose loans benefitting SSB by international financial institutions (Section 235(a)(4)); and
- imposition of full blocking sanctions and visa restrictions (Section 235(a)(7), (8), (9), (11), and (12)) on Dr. Ismail Demir, president of SSB; Faruk Yigit, SSB’s vice president; Serhat Gencoglu, Head of SSB’s Department of Air Defense and Space; and Mustafa Alper Deniz, Program Manager for SSB’s Regional Air Defense Systems Directorate.