Turkey runs out of time in S-400 crisis, U.S. official says
Clarke Cooper, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, said the United States inches closer to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of Russian S-400 air missile systems and Ankara runs out of time to address the issue, The National reported on Thursday.
Turkey risks U.S. sanctions over S-400 purchase under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which aims to deter third parties from defence partnership with Russia.
“Turkey has a narrowing window to address this issue,” Cooper told The National.
Ankara and Moscow in Sept. 2017 signed a loan agreement for the supply of S-400s to Turkey. The United States and its NATO allies see the Russian system as incompatible with NATO systems and posing a security threat to the F-35 stealth fighter. Turkey began to take delivery of S-400 components in late July, prompting Washington to remove Turkey from the F-35 fighter jets programme, in which it was a manufacturer and buyer.
"We immediately removed Turkey from F-35 joint strike fighter program…and it challenged their membership in the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO),” Cooper said.
However, U.S. President Donald Trump has gone against the grain in Washington with his tolerant stance to the S-400s’ arrival in July, which kicked off demands from U.S. lawmakers to sanction Turkey.