Published On: Mon, Sep 25th, 2017

Article from Press: Trump may have to sanction Turkey for Russian deal

Before their meeting Thursday, President Donald Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bragged about their friendship and claimed U.S.-Turkey relations are at an all-time high. Trump may not be aware he might soon have to sanction Erdogan for striking a major arms deal with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

“I think right now we are as close as we’ve ever been. And a lot of that has to do with the personal relationship,” said Trump, on the sideline of the U.N. General Assembly. “He’s getting high marks.”

Set aside that U.S.-Turkey relations are extremely strained right now and Erdogan is getting very low marks from human rights groups, Congress and others because of his domestic crackdown. It’s Erdogan’s stated plan to spend billions purchasing the S-400 missile defense system from Russia that threatens to spoil his chummy relationship with Trump.

According to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which Trump signed into law last month, the administration is required to sanction any foreign entities that engage in significant transactions with the Russian Federation’s defense and intelligence sectors, according to lawmakers and experts.

Erdogan announced last week he signed the $2.5 billion contract with Russia and put down a deposit, ignoring public and private U.S. warnings. He defended the move Tuesday in an interview with PBS News Hour, promising to see it through.

“We have asked for those weapons from many NATO allies and primarily the United States, but we were turned down. That’s why we have to resort to other means,” he said. “Russia is willing to support us all the way to a possible joint manufacturing of these missiles.”


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