Immediate US sanctions against Turkey for S-400 system

4 December 2020
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The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provides for the imposition of sanctions against Turkey for the acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile system.

The bill states that the acquisition of the S-400s constitutes a “significant transaction” as per the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act Law” (CAATSA law). It, therefore, calls for the provisions of CAATSA to be enforced and for at least five sanctions to be imposed within 30 days of its signing.

“The acquisition by the Turkish government of the S-400 air defence system by the Russian Federation starting on July 12, 2019, is a ‘significant transaction’ as described in section 231 of the CAATSA law… No later than 30 days after the date of its adoption of this law (defence budget for 2021), the president must impose five or more of the sanctions described in section 235 of the CAATSA Act in relation to any person who knowingly engaged in the acquisition of the S-400 air defense system “, the law says.

The bill stipulates that after one year the president can cancel the sanctions provided he certifies to the relevant congressional committees that:

• the Turkish government and any person acting on its behalf no longer own the S-400 air defence system or a system that has succeeded it.

• no official of the Russian Federation or persons acting on behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation or the defense sector of the Russian Federation shall operate or maintain any S-400 air defense system or successor system within Turkey.

• The President has received credible assurances from the Government of Turkey that it will not knowingly involve or allow any foreigner to engage in any activity for the recovery of the S-400 air defense system subject to sanctions in accordance with section 231 of the CAATSA Act.

For his part, Sen. Robert Menendez expressed his satisfaction, saying, “I am incredibly proud to have helped secure an NDAA provision to accomplish what President Trump has refused to do. Turkey has received Russian S-400 defence systems and will therefore be punished under current law.”

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