TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - US Defense Secretary James Norman Mattis has made assurance that Indonesia will not be sanctioned with an embargo. He made the comment to respond Indonesia's procurement of weapons system equipment from Russia, including Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighters.
Mattis will continue to convince the US Congress to allow several US strategic partners to buy weapons from Russia without any sanction following the implementation of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) starting last year. That was one of the points presented at a meeting with Indonesian Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.
In an official statement received by Antara, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam will not be affected by CAATSA. CAATSA has been legitimized to punish Russia for its intervention in the US election and its involvement in Ukraine.
Mattis has urged the Congress to ease sanctions on countries -- India, Indonesia, and Vietnam -- that have historically had relations with Russia but have now inclined to the United States with regard to the procurement of defense system equipment.
In response, Minister Ryamizard has thanked Mattis for having convinced the Congress to drop the sanction. Ryamizard remarked that Indonesia's procurement of Sukhoi Su-35 had been done long before the implementation of CAATSA.
"In future, Indonesia will buy several defense system equipment from the United States, such as C-130 Hercules transport aircraft and other heavy transport aircraft," he revealed.
At the meeting, the two ministers agreed to intensify cooperation in the fields of defense and military through the exchange of officials, staff, and command school students; intelligence education; strategic information exchange; and defense industry.
"These cooperation programs must be maintained and stepped up in various forms of capacity and capability building," he added.