Sanctions Current Affairs - 2019

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US not to sell F-35 fighter jets to Turkey for buying Russian S-400

Donald Trump, President of United States of America has announced that US would not sell F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, a major NATO ally after Ankara purchased S-400 missile defence system from sanctions-hit Russia.

Key Highlights

Turkey, a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is denied purchase of F-35 fighter jets after it received the 1st batch of Russian missile defence system despite repeated warnings from US against the purchase.

CAATSA: Under current US laws, any country purchasing major defence equipment from Russia (against whom US has put sanctions) could be subjected to American sanctions. US has imposed a series of sanctions on Russian individuals/companies/government agencies over Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

Although US Congress has made amendments in Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for a Presidential waiver and many in India believe that this Presidential waiver was for India but US officials had clarified that there was no blanket sanction waiver for any country.

F-35 Fighter Jet: It is a stealth, 5th-generation, multirole combat aircraft, designed for ground-attack and air-superiority missions.

What it means for India?

On October 2018 India inked an agreement with Russia in to procure a batch of S-400 missile systems at a cost of Rs.40,000 crore. Later in June 2019, S Jaishankar Union Minister of External Affairs conveyed his US counterpart Mike Pompeo that India will go by its national interest on S-400 missile defence deal with sanctions-hit Russia.

This decision by Trump Administration against Turkey could be an indication for India as New Delhi has also signed up with Russia to buy S-400 missile defence system against the advice of US.

UNSC unanimously adopts new sanctions against North Korea

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously passed new set of tougher sanctions against North Korea over its sixth and most powerful nuclear test (claimed to be Hydrogen bomb).

It was overall the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by UNSC since 2006 over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. The new sanctions imposes ban on North Korea’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

New sanctions include

It limits on imports of crude oil and oil products to North Korea. It bans exports of textiles, which is North Korea’s second-biggest export worth more than $700million a year. It also limits North Koreans from working overseas, which may cut off $500 million of tax revenue per year.

Background

In recent months, North Korea under the leadership of Kim Jong-un had staged series of missile tests including ICBMs that appeared to bring much of US mainland into range. It was followed up with sixth nuclear test on September 3, 2017 which was the largest to date, was claimed to be a miniaturized hydrogen bomb. The US and its Asian allies argue that tougher sanctions will put pressure on North Korea to come to the negotiation table to discuss end to its nuclear and missile tests. Russia and China, which are close allies of North Korea also are pushing for talks. They have proposed suspension of US-South Korean military drills for freezing North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests.

United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

UNSC is one of six principal organs of the United Nations Organisation (UNO). Its mandate is to maintain international peace and security. UNSC has 15 members, including five permanent viz. China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States. Each of the five permanent members has veto power.

Its powers include establishment of peacekeeping operations, imposing international sanctions, and authorization of collective military action against through resolutions. It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.