The United States is imposing sanctions on the Turkish government’s Presidency of Defense Industries for procuring the S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms export entity. The sanctions include a ban on all U.S. new export licenses and authorizations to SSB, and an asset freeze and visa restrictions on Dr. Ismail Demir, SSB’s president, and three other SSB officers.
These sanctions are not intended to undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of Turkey or any other U.S. ally or partner. Instead, they are intended to impose costs on Russia in response to its wide range of malign activities.
The United States made clear to Turkey 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 moved ahead with the procurement and testing of the S-400, despite the availability of 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.
These sanctions send a clear signal that the United States will not tolerate significant transactions with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors.
In a written statement Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Turkey to “resolve the S-400 problem immediately in coordination with the United States. 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.”