US is still looking to impose sanctions on Ankara

The Trump administration is still planning to impose sanctions on Turkey and remove it from the joint warplanes program if the NATO ally gets Russian air defenses, despite assurances from the Turkish president, US officials told Reuters.

After meeting US President Donald Trump at the weekend in Japan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara would avoid US sanctions once the Russian air defense system S-400 arrived in Turkey in the coming days.

Trump appeared sympathetic to Erdogan in the talks and declined to publicly abide by sanctions, the agency said.

But US government officials have told Reuters that at least until now, the administration plans to impose sanctions on Turkey and pull it out of the F-35 fighter jet program if it receives the Russian S-400 system, as expected.

"The United States has consistently and clearly stated that Turkey will face very real and negative consequences if it continues to acquire the S-400, including suspension of procurement and industrial participation in the F-35 program and sanctions under the US Offenses Bill (CAATSA)," said the State Department spokeswoman.

At the Pentagon, Air Force Spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said: "Nothing has changed."

"Turkey's purchase of the S-400 Russian air and missile defense system is contrary to the F-35 program, and Turkey will not be allowed to have two systems.

The agency pointed out that the US sanctions which are scheduled to be imposed on Ankara will have serious consequences for the economy and the Turkish lira, which suffers from the consequences of poor relations between Washington and Ankara.



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