Ankara’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system endangers the security of US personnel, warns US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, said the State Department on 17 December.
“Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo spoke this week with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss the 14 December imposition of sanctions by the United States on our NATO Ally Turkey for its procurement of the Russian-made S-400 missile defence system, as required under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA),” said Principal Deputy Spokesperson, State Department Cale Brown.
Brown said that Pompeo has “made it clear” to Foreign Minister Cavusoglu that “Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 system endangers the security of US personnel and military technology and allows Russian access to the Turkish armed forces and defence industry.”
“The Secretary stressed that the goal of the sanctions is to prevent Russia from receiving substantial revenue, access, and influence, and they are not intended to undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of Turkey or any other US Ally or partner,” Brown added.
Pompeo urged Turkey to resolve the S-400 issue in a manner “consistent with our decades-long history of defence-sector cooperation” adding that Turkey must recommit itself to its NATO obligations to obligations to purchase NATO-interoperable weaponry.
This comes after the United States on 14 December (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.