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Report: U.S. Lawmakers Move to Punish Turkey for Buying Russian Missile System U.S. Lawmakers Move to Punish Turkey for Buy...
U.S. lawmakers finalized a sweeping deal on the annual defense policy bill late Monday that, among other key provisions, would take steps to punish Turkey for its purchase of a controversial Russian missile system that Western officials say threatens NATO air defenses and the F-35 fighter jet.
The news comes as U.S. President Donald Trump continues to hold off imposing congressionally mandated sanctions in response to Ankara’s purchase of the S-400, which arrived in Turkey this summer and which the Turkish military recently began testing against U.S.-made F-16 fighters. Under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the administration must choose from a menu of options ranging from light to harsh sanctions if foreign partners make a significant purchase of Russian military equipment.
“The time for patience has long expired. It is time you applied the law,” Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said in a recent letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “Failure to do so is sending a terrible signal to other countries that they can flout U.S. laws without consequence.”
U.S. officials continue to stress that Turkey must not be allowed to operate both the S-400 and the American-made F-35 fighter jet, for fear that Ankara will use the Russian system to learn secrets about the aircraft’s sensitive technology.
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