US President Donald Trump claimed he does not want to impose sanctions against Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense missile system, reported CNN Wednesday.
President Trump held a meeting behind closed doors with Republican Senators Tuesday to discuss possible sanctions. According to Senate Republican officials with the knowledge of the matter, Republicans lawmakers did not welcome Trump’s initiative not to sanction Turkey. Senators argued that under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 the US has no choice but to impose sanctions. However, Turkey is a NATO member, which complicates the situation.
Turkey started accepting shipments of the S-400s two weeks ago. Trump’s administration cut the country out of the F-35 fighter jet program claiming that the Russian missile system is incompatible with the American equipment.
President Trump has reportedly blamed Obama’s administration for forcing Turkey to buy the S-400s by refusing to sell the American alternative to the country. At the meeting Trump also complained about his administration’s decision to withdraw Turkey for the F-35 fighter jet program and said he still wanted to sell jets to Turkey.
Although the meeting was focused on Turkey and possible sanctions, the lawmakers have also reportedly discussed Iran and inner matters.
White House spokesperson did not comment about the meeting.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website