Ankara says sanctions will only damage relations between NATO partners
The United States is preparing to impose sanctions against Turkey over its purchase of Russian S-400 anti-missile systems, four sources have told Reuters.
The long-awaited sanctions could be announced any day now, the sources said. The decision is likely to anger Ankara and seriously complicate relations with the new administration of President-elect Joe Biden,
Sources say the sanctions will affect Turkey’s Undersecretariat of Defence Industries and its head Ismail Demir. Several sources believe the sanctions will be announced on Friday, but one said it could happen any day.
The US State Department could change its plans and expand or narrow the scope of the planned sanctions against Turkey.
However, sources said the announcement of sanctions in their current form was inevitable. In their view, the US is finally ready to act after a long wait for a change of course in Turkey.
Russia delivered the S-400 systems back last year and Turkey tested them in October. Ankara insists that they will not be integrated into NATO systems and pose no threat to the alliance, and is calling for a joint working group on the issue.
A senior Turkish official said the sanctions would backfire and negatively affect relations between the two NATO allies.
“Sanctions will not bring results and will be counterproductive. They will harm the relationship,” the source said.
“Turkey is in favour of solving these problems through diplomacy and negotiations. We do not accept unilateral impositions,” he added.
The decision will have repercussions far beyond Turkey, sending a signal to US partners around the world who are thinking about buying Russian military equipment and have repeatedly been warned of possible sanctions.