Jul 01 2019

Turkish lira jumps after Erdoğan says Trump pledges no sanctions

Turkey’s lira surged after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said U.S. President Donald Trump told him there would be no economic sanctions for Ankara’s purchase of Russian missiles.

The lira climbed 1.6 percent to 5.69 per dollar at 11:40 a.m. in Istanbul local time on Monday.

U.S. officials have threatened Turkey with punishment should it take delivery of the S-400 missiles, which they say compromise NATO defences. Investors have sold the lira after news reports said the United States had drawn together several economic measures against Turkey, including barring its defence firms from the U.S. financial system.

Erdoğan met with Trump at a summit of the G20 group of industrialised nations in Japan on Saturday for just over half an hour. Trump said Turkey had been treated unfairly, according to the Turkish president.

Turkey will take delivery of the weapons within 10 days and won’t face any problems, Erdoğan told reporters at the weekend.

Trump’s alleged comments conflict with statements from U.S. officials. It would be impossible for Turkey to avoid sanctions, including being barred from the F-35 fighter jet programme, should it install the weapons, Senator Lindsey Graham told CBS on Sunday.