USA Announced Sanctions on Turkey over Purchase of Russian Anti-air System

Politics | December 15, 2020, Tuesday // 10:20|  views

The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on a key Turkish defence agency over Ankara's purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system.

Turkey took possession of the Russian missiles last year, despite repeated warnings from the US that it would lead to sanctions.

The US has argued that by making the deal with Russia for the S-400s, Turkey was endangering the security of US military technology and providing funds to the Russian defence sector.

Turkey was previously suspended from the F-35 fighter jet programme because of the Russian weapons purchase and has been unable to buy the advanced jet fighters from the US.

The sanctions on the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) include a ban on all US export licenses to SSB and an asset freeze and visa restrictions on agency head Ismail Demir, according to the State Department.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Turkey to "resolve the S-400 problem immediately in coordination with the United States," saying Ankara remains an ally.

Turkey condemned the "unjust" sanctions and said it would "take the necessary steps against this decision," according to the Foreign Ministry.

It threatened retaliation and criticized Washington for refusing to accept Ankara's proposal "to resolve the issue through dialogue and diplomacy."

Russian Foreign Ministry commented the measures as "arrogance towards international law," according to the Interfax news agency.

While the sanctions were not a surprise, Lavrov said that they were "illegitimate, unilateral coercive measures" by the US.

The sanctions are being imposed under CAATSA, legislation that was designed to force economic restrictions on foreign adversaries of the US - notably Russia, Iran and North Korea - and those who work with them.

The S-400 story is one of numerous thorns in the relationship between Ankara and Washington, which has become increasingly tense in recent years, including over Syria.

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Tags: sanctions, S-400s


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