In its attempt to smooth Turkey’s ruffled feathers, the U.S. has said the sanctions slapped on Ankara for its S-400 buy was to stop Russia from receiving ‘substantial revenue.’
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke this week with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss the December 14 imposition of sanctions for its procurement of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system, as required under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Secretary Pompeo made clear to Cavusoglu that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 system endangers the security of U.S. personnel and military technology and allows Russian access to the Turkish armed forces and defense industry.
Pompeo "stressed that the goal of the sanctions is to prevent Russia from receiving substantial revenue, access, and influence," State Department spokesperson Cale Brown said on December 18.
“....they (sanctions) are not intended to undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of Turkey or any other U.S. Ally or partner,” Pompeo told the Turkish minister.
The sanctions target Turkey's military procurement agency (SSB) including head of SSB Ismail Demir, and three other officials. They prohibit the SSB from importing or exporting to U.S. entities, and banned loan credits for the agency.
Since the SSB is the main coordinating agency for all defense projects including that of international sales, sanctions against it may impede Turkey’s ability to manufacture and export defense goods.
"CAATSA sanctions are not intended to undermine Turkey's military capabilities or combat readiness. We continue to seek resolution to the S-400 issue and discourage countries from arms transactions with Russia," Brown said.