As Joe Biden gets ready to enter White House, US warns India, sanctions Turkey

Days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden taking charge as the new President of the US, The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on Turkey for buying the Russian-made S400 Triumf anti-missile system and has warned India and other countries on buying arms manufactured by Russia.

A series of sanctions were announced by Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation, Christopher Ford, on Monday under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against Turkey’s military procurement agency SSB and four senior Turkish officials. It is to be noted that Turkey is a NATO ally.

We hope that other countries around the world will also take note that the United States will fully implement CAATSA Section 231 sanctions and that they should avoid further acquisitions of Russian equipment, especially those that could trigger sections,” he said It may be recalled that in 2018, India had inked a deal worth USD 5.43 billion for five units of the S-400 anti-missile system from Russia. The Indian government had decided to finalise the deal despite objections from the US.

US has repeatedly warned India against buying arms from Russia, while threatening to impose anctions under CAATSA and the incentive of an alternative anti-missile system.

Notably, the US is yet to provide a blanket exemption for India from the CAATSA, but it has continued selling arms to India.

During US President Donald Trump’s visit to India in 2019, he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an arms deal worth USD 3.5 billion. The deal includes 24 Sikorsky MH-60R Sea Hawk multi-role helicopters six Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters.

The US also signed an advanced defence pact, the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on Geospatial Cooperation, or BECA, in October with India. The inking of these deals allowed New Delhi to access intelligence through satellite imagery and data for civilian and military use.

It seems that the policy under President-Elect Joe Biden on countries buying arms may not change much because several Democrat leaders support CAATSA.

Earlier, the US had also banned Tukey from getting the advanced F-35 fighter jets.

According to Ford, the new sanctions would bar SSB from getting export licenses for weapons and from receiving loans and that the US would also oppose loans from other sources to the company.

Dr. Dhillon Randeep

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