S-400 significant with possible CAATSA implications: US

Washington

Purchase of major military equipment like multi-billion S-400 missile defense system would be considered as a "significant transaction" and thus has a potential Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) implication, the Trump administration said on Friday.

And as such, soon after President Donald Trump signed an executive order in this regard, the United States imposed sanctions on a Chinese entity, the Equipment Development Department, or EDD, and also upon its director, Li Shangfu, for its recent purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missile, a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.

As a result, all property and interests in property within the US jurisdiction of the EDD and Shangfu have been blocked and the US citizens barred from transacting with them, he said.

"We want to stress that the legislative standard here is a significant transaction with an entity that appears on the List of Specified Persons. We took these actions because China took delivery of 10 Sukhoi fighter aircraft, specifically Su-25s, in December of 2017, after the CAATSA statute came into force. It also took delivery of a batch of S-400 – sometimes known as SA-21 – surface-to-air missile systems or related equipment in January of this year," the official said.

Both these Chinese transactions from Russia, he said, occurred after the CAATSA sanctions statute came into force. The deal was negotiated between the Equipment Development Department and Rosoboronexport, which is Russia's main arms export entity, he added.

The official emphasised that the ultimate target of these sanctions was Russia.

"Those malign activities are undertaken to compete with the US and its allies and partners. This is for the first time that the US has sanctioned anyone under Section 231 of CAATSA, which focuses upon, those who engage in significant transactions with entities that appear on the LSP," the official said.

He declined to answer a question whether the US would be taking similar action against countries, like Turkey, that buy S-400 missile defense system.

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S-400 significant with possible CAATSA implications: US

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