Wednesday 16 October 2019

Turkey faces sanctions by US over its arms deal with Russia

Turkey's defence minister has said the country is preparing for potential US sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems. (David Davies/PA)
Turkey's defence minister has said the country is preparing for potential US sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems. (David Davies/PA)

Orhan Coskun

Turkey's defence minister has said the country is preparing for potential US sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems.

Turkey and the United States have been at odds on several fronts, including Ankara's decision to buy the S-400s, which cannot be integrated into Nato systems. Washington says it would jeopardise Turkey's role in building Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, which it says would be compromised by S-400s.

While Washington has warned that Ankara faces sanctions under its Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) if it presses on with the deal, Turkey has said it expects US President Donald Trump to honour commitments.

Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkey was fulfilling its responsibilities in the F-35 project and expected the programme to continue as planned. He said buying the S-400s was only meant to meet Turkey's defence needs.

"We are doing whatever normal bilateral agreements mandate. Though there are some issues from time to time, we are pleased that there has been no sharp turn until now... Turkey is also making preparations for the potential implementation of CAATSA sanctions," he said.

"In our talks with the United States, we see a general easing and rapprochement on issues including the east of the Euphrates, F-35s and Patriots."

Turkey's lira has been sliding, in part over concerns on US sanctions, which would hit an economy already in recession after a currency crisis last year. Among its other disputes with Washington is strategy in Syria east of the Euphrates River, where the United States is allied with Kurdish forces that Turkey views as foes.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News