Robert O’Brien the White House National Security Adviser has said that the U.S. will impose sanctions on Turkey if it does not do away with the Russian missile defense systems it purchased.
In an interview on Sunday, O’Brien made it clear that the U.S. is not pleased with Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 missile air defense systems. The White House official said that if Turkey does not heed the warning to get rid of the missile systems it would be sanctioned by the U.S. Congress.
O’Brien stated that the penalties under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act would apply to Turkey if they do not walk away from the Russian systems. He pointed out that the S-400 missile defense system is incompatible with NATO defenses. He also said that the Act will pass Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support. “Turkey will feel the impact of the sanctions stipulated under the Act,” he added.
The President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, is scheduled to visit Washington on Nov. 13. He will meet with President Trump for crucial discussions about a number of issues that both countries are yet to agree on.
The two NATO allies are seeking ways to end the disagreement between them one of which is Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 missile air defense system that the U.S. says is not compatible with NATO defenses. According to O’Brien NATO has no place for significant Russian military purchases and that is what the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system is. He said that President Trump will make that clear to President Erdogan when he arrives in a few days.
Washington had also said that the S-400 threatens the Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) F-35 fighter jets. So after Turkey received its first S-400 deliveries in July, it was pulled out of the F-35 program. Since Turkey is yet to activate the S-400 batteries that it purchased, Washington hopes that the meeting with Erdogan will convince Turkey to abandon the Russian systems. Before its removal from the F-35 program, Ankara was a manufacturer and buyer in the program.