US sanctions China for buying Russian fighter jets, missiles

22 September, 2018, 02:03 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • State Department announces sanctions on 33 including Russians charged with meddling in 2016 U.S. election

The sanctions will block the Chinese agency and Li from applying for export licences and participating in the U.S. financial system.

China bought S-400 missiles and 10 Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russian Federation, and has refused to join the US and its allies in imposing sanctions on Russian Federation over its actions in Ukraine and in USA politics.

The penalties were applied under a law that requires the U.S. to sanction anyone undertaking significant transactions with certain people affiliated with Russian intelligence and military services, including arms manufacturers.

The U.S. thinking is pretty straightforward: By targeting countries that buy Russian weapons, the U.S.is trying to squeeze the money Moscow gets from selling arms: buy from them and you might also be blacklisted.

The U.S. State Department said it would immediately impose sanctions on China's Equipment Development Department, which oversees defense technology, and its director, Li Shangfu, for engaging in "significant transactions" with Rosoboronexport, Russia's main arms exporter.

The punitive measures are part of China-related "hysteria", over Beijing's ever-growing economy, which is now sweeping Washington, author and historian Gerald Horne believes.

"It would be not bad if they remembered about the concept of global stability which they are unthinkingly undermining by whipping up tensions in Russia-U.S. relations".

The Trump administration is pursuing strategies to clamp down on China and faces growing pressure to respond strongly to US intelligence agency reports that Russian Federation is continuing to meddle in USA politics. "Playing with fire is silly, it can become unsafe".


All of them - defense related firms, officers of the GRU military intelligence agency, and people associated with the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency disinformation group - have been on previous United States sanctions lists and 28 of them have already been indicted by Russian Federation election meddling investigator Robert Mueller.

The expansion of the Russian blacklist also represents an endorsement of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 vote by the special counsel Robert Mueller, which Donald Trump has repeatedly denounced as a "witch-hunt".

United States officials said that the U.S. could consider similar action against other countries taking delivery of Russian fighter jets and missiles.

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

"Both countries are opposed to what they see as US bullying and these kind of actions will just push Beijing and Moscow even closer together", said Storey.

The senior official stressed that CAATSA is not going to be implemented across the board, but that the USA was choosing Russia's sale of "bigger ticket items" of "new, fancy, qualitatively significant stuff" that could have a "security impact" on the United States. "We have had some good results in probably preventing the occurrence of several billions dollars worth of transfers simply by having the availability of this sanctions tool in our pockets".

"Caatsa sanctions in this context are not meant to undermine the defence capabilities of any particular country" but are "aimed at imposing costs on Russian Federation in response to its malign activities".

The US official said Washington had spent "an enormous amount of time" seeking to discourage prospective buyers of Russian arms.

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