Final draft of 2021 NDAA mandates the President to impose 5 or more CAATSA sanctions to Turkey in 30 days, for the acquisition of S-400 – Senators Graham and Lankford call on Trump to impose sanctions
Washington.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
The final version of the $740bn annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, includes a provision that mandates the US President to impose sanctions on Turkey for the acquisition of S-400 air defense system from the Russian Federation. The bill that was into negating process since last July is expected to hit the floors of both U.S. Senate and House of Representatives this coming week and be voted by a veto proof majority, before it’s sent to the Oval Office for the President’s signature. After it’s enacted, the President has 30 days to impose CAATSA sanction.
“The acquisition by the Government of Turkey of the S–400 air defense system from the Russian Federation beginning on July 12, 2019, constitutes a significant transaction as described in section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (22 U.S.C. 9525),” the legislative text reads.
“Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall impose five or more of the sanctions described in section 235 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (22 U.S.C. 9529) with respect to each person that knowingly engaged in the acquisition of the S-400 air defense system referred to in subsection (b),” it adds.
It also provides that “on and after the date that is one year after the date on which the President imposes sanctions under subsection (c) with respect to a person, the President may terminate the application of such sanctions” with respect to that person.
This may happen if the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees a certification that the Government of Turkey and any person acting on its behalf no longer possesses the S–400 air defense system or a successor system.
He must also submit certification that no S-400 air defense system or successor system is operated or maintained inside Turkey by nationals of the Russian Federation or persons acting on behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation or the defense sector of the Russian Federation.
Additionally he must have “received reliable assurances from the Government of Turkey that the Government of Turkey will not knowingly engage, or allow any foreign person to engage on its behalf, in pursuing any activity subject to sanctions under section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (22 U.S.C. 9525) to reacquire the S-400 air defense system or a successor system.”
President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the NDAA bill and such a veto will be the first in nearly 60 years. He opposes a provision that would require US military bases named after members of the Confederate Army to be renamed, and he has demanded the bill to include a provision that would repeal legal protections for social media companies, known as Section 230.
In addition to the sanctions, the bill authorizes funds for the transfer of 6 f-35 airplanes – originally ordered by Turkey – to the U.S. Airforce.
MENENDEZ – VAN – HOLLEN
Senator Bob Menendez, who played a key role in the NDAA amendment, tweeted: “Incredibly proud to have helped secure inclusion of a provision in the NDAA to do what President Trump refused to do: Officially determine on behalf of the U.S. government that Turkey took delivery of Russian S-400 defense systems and therefore will be sanctioned under existing law.”
Senator Chris Van Hollen, also expressed satisfaction.
“Trump refused to act, so Congress will. Glad the NDAA will hold Erdogan accountable for the purchase of the Russian-made S-400. We will not back down when it comes to protecting our security and that of faithful NATO allies.”
ANCA – HALC
The Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) and the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) lauded NDAA completion. Endy Zemenides, HALC’s Executive Director praised Senator Menendez’s leadership and noted: “It took a while but the days of whitewashing Turkey’s consistent destabilizing behavior, violations of American and international law, and lack of reliability as an ally are over. Congress is sending a clear signal to the incoming Biden Administration that ‘Accountability’ and not ‘Appeasement’ must be the key to US-Turkey policy.”
“The adoption of this key NDAA provision — long sought by the ANCA and our HALC and IDC allies — holds Erdogan accountable for his increasingly reckless and anti-American actions,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “It is our hope that the incoming Biden Administration will reflect and reinforce this broad bipartisan consensus, bringing to an end a shameful era in which the first instinct of U.S. diplomacy has been to erase every Turkish sin, excuse every Turkish offense, and appease even the most irrational Turkish demand.”
In the 115th Congress, ANCA and HALC launched a joint advocacy initiative to remove Turkey from the F35 program and to hold Turkey accountable for violating the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). The ANCA-HALC advocacy campaigns warned members of Congress against the dangers of failing to hold Turkey accountable and allowing it to have weapons that he may turn against our allies — including Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and Armenia — and possibly even U.S. forces.
GRAHAM – LANKFORD
In an opinion article to the Wall Street Journal, Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (N. Carolina) and James Lankford (Oklahoma) call President Trump to impose CAATSA sanctions to Turkey, for buying S-400 Russian missiles.
“Diplomats, the Pentagon and senators, including us, warned Turkish government officials that there would be consequences. The president should now follow the law and levy sanctions against Turkish entities. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act requires sanctions against any country that engages in a “significant transaction” of defense assets with Russia, Iran or North Korea.
President Trump has demonstrated his commitment to putting American interests first. And the president has given Turkey every opportunity to cooperate with NATO. Congress, with broad bipartisan support, included enforcement language on Turkey in last year’s national defense authorization.
Punishing Turkey for choosing Russia over the U.S. would be a clear warning. Other nations should consider who is a better trade partner: the U.S., with more than 20% of the world’s economy, or Russia, with an economy smaller than the economies of some U.S. states. A failure to follow through would send the message that the U.S. isn’t willing to make hard decisions”.
THE CAATSA MENU
There are 12 different sanctions and the president of the United States must choose 5 or more.
(1) EXPORT-IMPORT BANK ASSISTANCE FOR EXPORTS TO SANCTIONED PERSONS
(2) EXPORT SANCTION, including arms.
(3) LOANS FROM UNITED STATES FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.—
(4) LOANS FROM INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.
(5) PROHIBITIONS ON FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS.—The following prohibitions may be imposed against the sanctioned person if that person is a financial institution:
(A) PROHIBITION ON DESIGNATION AS PRIMARY DEALER.—
(B) PROHIBITION ON SERVICE AS A REPOSITORY OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS
(6) PROCUREMENT SANCTION
(7) FOREIGN EXCHANGE.—
(8) BANKING TRANSACTIONS.
(9) PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS.
(10) BAN ON INVESTMENT IN EQUITY OR DEBT OF SANCTIONED PERSON
(11) EXCLUSION OF CORPORATE OFFICERS.
(12) SANCTIONS ON PRINCIPAL EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
The term‘‘sanctioned person’’ means a person subject to sanctions under section 224(a)(2), 231(b), 232(a), or 233(a).
Subtitle E—Matters Relating to Europe and NATO SEC. 1241.