The US has imposed sanctions on Turkey’s primary defence procurement entity Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) for acquiring S-400 air defence systems from Russia.

According to a US Department of State statement, the sanctions were imposed pursuant to Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

The step places a ban on all export licences and authorisations to SSB, prohibiting all joint projects and technology transfers between the Turkish entity and US-based companies.

Additionally, it freezes all assets and imposes visa restrictions on SSB president Dr Ismail Demir and three other officials.

The sanctions were imposed following several representations to the highest levels of Turkey that advancing with purchase of the S-400 surface-to-air missile system will incite such measures.

“CAATSA 231 and today’s actions are not intended to undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of Turkey or any other US ally or partner, but rather to impose costs on Russia in response to its wide range of malign activities”, the statement added.

The move is expected to further strain the relations between the two countries, as Turkey already criticised the sanction terming it as a ‘grave mistake’, reported Reuters.

This is the first time that the CAATSA was imposed against a fellow member of the Nato alliance.

Turkey acquired the S-400 air defence system last year, following which, it was expelled from the F-35 fighter jet programme by the US.