U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo confident Trump will sanction Turkey
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said U.S. law requires sanctions against Turkey for its purchase of Russian air defence missiles and expressed confidence the White House would comply with the law, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.
U.S. officials have repeatedly stated that the S-400s pose a threat to U.S. and NATO defences, warning of sanctions as well as Turkey’s possible expulsion from the programme to build and operate F-35 stealth fighters. Turkey began taking delivery of S-400 systems on Friday, and as of Sunday had accepted seven shipments.
U.S. law mandates sanctions against countries that make significant deals with Russia’s defence industry, but Trump has sent mixed signals about how he might respond to Turkey, according to the Washington Post.
“The law requires that there be sanctions and I’m confident that we will comply with the law and President Trump will comply with the law,” Pompeo told the Washington Post.
Pompeo suggested the punishments might be imminent, according to the Post.
Also on Sunday, Congressman Michael McCaul, lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, described Ankara's S-400 acquisition as very problematic.
Turkey “can’t have it both ways," he told Fox News. "You can’t be a NATO ally and buy Russian military equipment.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday urged Trump to waive sanctions and find a “middle ground” in the S-400 dispute.