U.S. unlikely to impose sanctions on Turkey over Russian buy: Turkish official

By Humeyra Pamuk WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.

Reuters September 19, 2019 06:11:43 IST
U.S. unlikely to impose sanctions on Turkey over Russian buy: Turkish official

US unlikely to impose sanctions on Turkey over Russian buy Turkish official

By Humeyra Pamuk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has become more understanding about why Turkey has purchased a Russian missile defence system and he is not expected to impose U.S. sanctions on Ankara over the issue, a senior Turkish official said on Wednesday.

"My expectation is it (sanctions) would not be implemented," the senior official told reporters in Washington, adding that Trump had grown to empathize more with Ankara's position. "He understood the whole history behind how we got to purchasing the S-400s," she said.

Ankara and Washington have been at loggerheads over Turkey's purchase of the S-400 system, which the United States says is incompatible with NATO defences and poses a threat to Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 "stealth" fighter jet that Turkey was also planning to purchase and in which it had been a production partner.

Turkey says it is facing multiple threats from Syria and is in urgent need of a comprehensive defence system.

The United States has expelled Ankara from the F-35 programme over its purchase of the Russian air defence system, whose parts began arriving in Turkey in July, but it has so far fallen short of imposing sanctions on Ankara, even though it had threatened to do so for months.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At a bilateral meeting in June in Osaka with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Trump said Turkey had been treated unfairly over its decision to buy the S-400s and blamed the "mess" on the administration of former President Barack Obama.

But he had not ruled out sanctions.

Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration was considering imposing sanctions related to Turkey's purchase of the S-400s but that no decisions had been made.

Erdogan told Reuters in an interview last week that he would discuss buying U.S. Patriot missiles with Trump at next week's United Nations General Assembly meeting, saying his personal bond with the U.S. leader could overcome the months-long crisis between two NATO allies.

The senior Turkish official said any imposition of sanctions would also contradict a recent agreement between Ankara and Washington to boost trade to $100 billion after the visit of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to Turkey earlier this month.

"You make a commitment like that and then you talk about implementing sanctions, that’s a big contradiction in itself," she said.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Peter Cooney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.