US sanctions for Turkey’s S-400 procurement come into impact


The State Department revealed on April 5 that beforehand introduced US sanctions on Turkey’s military-industrial sector would come into impact on April 7 with the publication of a US Federal Register discover.    

US sanctions below the CAATSA act, or the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (Public Law 115-44), had been initially introduced by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on December 14, in response to Turkey’s buy of the S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia. 

Previously, the three titles of CAATSA had been centered on Russia, Iran, and North Korea.  Washington and a few of Turkey’s NATO allies had objected strenuously to this procurement determination, noting that sanctions had been doubtless, however Turkey refused to again down.  

In authorized phrases, the sanctions utilized to Turkey are thought-about secondary sanctions below CAATSA as a result of the Turkish corporations opted to conduct transactions with entities beforehand listed on the US List of Specified Persons (LSP).  Under CAATSA, the LSP is the listing of Russian entities which are thought-about “primary sanctions targets” as a consequence of beforehand recognized Russian overseas coverage choices in Ukraine, our on-line world, and intrusion within the 2016 U.S. elections.  

h 55931072
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shake palms throughout a joint information convention within the Kremlin in Moscow following their talks on additional cooperation between the 2 respective international locations. EPA-EFE//MICHAEL KLIMENTYEV

Readers of New Europe might recall that the Trump administration took the initiative final December to design and announce sanctions forward of a looming Congressional deadline at the moment, which gave consequently gave the Executive Branch extra freedom to design the sanctions program.  

Not a full arms embargo

Washington’s listing of sanctions is lower than a full arms embargo; readers may also recall Turkey had beforehand been ejected from the American F-35 fighter jet program. The focus of the US sanctions is a comparatively slim band of Turkey’s protection industrial construction, a lot of which stays extremely depending on US expertise and requires US authorization for expertise re-exports.  

The State Department defined final December 14 its rationale for the sanctions.  “Today, 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 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.”

Those different senior SSB officers to be sanctioned have now been named.  They embody Faruk Yigit, SSB’s vp; Serhat Gencoglu, SSB’s head of the Department of Air Defense and Space and Mustafa Alper Deniz, program supervisor for SSB’s Regional Air Defense Systems Directorate.

h 55541590
The American-made F-35 multirole fight plane, probably the most refined fighter aircraft on the earth, throughout an air policing operation led by NATO on the Keflavik Air Base in Iceland. EPA-EFE//GIUSEPPE LAMI

The Crete mannequin

Since December, there have been occasional Turkish media stories that one thing just like the “Crete model” is likely to be fleshed out and agreed to permit US sanctions to be eliminated.   This is a reference to the switch of Russian S-300s bought by Cyprus within the late 1990s to the Greek island of Crete, to keep away from having the system bombed by Turkey whereas below set up in Cyprus.

An analogous state of affairs for the S-400’s would have them saved of their delivery packing containers or transferred to 3rd international locations, however Turkey’s activation of the S-400 system’s radars would appear to preclude an answer of this sort.   Nonetheless, media stories of exploratory statements/trial balloons from Turkish officers relating to an analogous association proceed to flow into.