James Mattis Calls for National Security Exceptions to Russia Sanctions Law

James Mattis

Defense Secretary James Mattis has called for waivers to allow U.S. allies to prevent any sanctions related to the procurement of Russian-made weapons, Military.com reported Friday.

Mattis told lawmakers Thursday at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that Congress should make “national security exceptions” to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act and fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act in support of U.S. interests.

“We only need to look at India, Vietnam and some others to recognize that eventually we’re going to penalize ourselves” through strict compliance with CAATSA, said Mattis, a 2018 Wash100 recipient.

He expressed concerns on the potential sale of Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile defense systems to countries such as Turkey and India.

President Donald Trump signed in August 2017 CAATSA that imposes sanctions on Russia in response to its involvement in Syria and invasion of Crimea.

CAATSA also enforces sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

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