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US decides on sanctions against Turkey for Russian missiles

US State Department will announce sanctions late next week
11:05, 14 July 2019

Russian S-400 missile air defence systems
Reuters

President Donald Trump’s team has settled on a sanctions package to punish Turkey for receiving parts of a Russian missile defense system and will to announce its plan in the coming days, said sources. This was reported by Bloomberg.

The administration chose one of three sets of actions devised to inflict varying degrees of pain under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the people said, without identifying which set had been chosen. The plan needs Trump’s approval.

One of the people said the intention is to announce the sanctions late next week. The administration wants to wait until after Monday’s anniversary of a 2016 coup attempt against Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to avoid fueling further speculation that the U.S. was responsible for the uprising, as Erdogan’s loyalists have claimed.

Related: Why is Turkey so insistent on buying Russian missiles (and missing out on the F-35)?

The deliveries make it almost certain the Middle East’s largest economy will be subject to punitive U.S. action. By law, Trump needed to pick at least five out of 12 different sanctions - ranging from mild to harsh -- under the sanctions act, once delivery was certified.

As it was reported earlier, the U.S. says the Russian system is designed to shoot down North Atlantic Treaty Organization aircraft and can collect critical intelligence that could compromise stealth capabilities of the fifth-generation fighter. In an attempt to dissuade Turkey, the U.S. said in June it was winding down Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program. Turkish manufacturers have been helping to build parts of the jet.

Related: Russian guided missile destroyer illegally enters closed area of Sea Breeze drills

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