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US Threatens Sanctions Against Ankara over Russia’s S-300

US Threatens Sanctions Against Ankara over Russia’s S-300

Saturday, 8 December, 2018 - 07:30
The Pentagon in Washington, US, is seen from aboard Air Force One, March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Ankara - Saeed Abdelrazek
The Pentagon has warned Turkey that it would slap it with biting sanctions if it goes ahead with a plan to receive Russian S-300 air defense systems.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon advised Ankara to drop the deal with Russia, saying failure to do so would lead to harsh sanctions being imposed on Turkey.

The presence of the Russian air defense systems on Turkish soil would have disastrous consequences to ties between the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on one side and authorities in Ankara on the other, the spokesman said.

If the systems enter Turkish territories, then the Pentagon would review its program to deliver F-35 fighters to the Turkish air force, he warned.

However, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday that US President Donald Trump has informed his Turkish counterpart that he refuses to have problems on the sale of the F-35 fighter jets to Ankara.

Cavusoglu said following a NATO meeting in Brussels that despite attempts made by the Congress to stop the deal, Trump has confirmed to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that there would be no trouble to go ahead with the sale of the warplanes.

Meanwhile, US Federal prosecutors have dropped their quest to extend the 32-month sentence of Turkish banker Hakan Atilla, a penalty that the government previously found too light for the largest anti-Iran sanctions scheme in history.

Atilla, a former manager of Turkey’s state-run Halkbank, was convicted in January of this year for his role in helping funnel billions to Iran through a gas-for-gold trade and fake humanitarian food shipments.

In their 84-page brief Thursday, prosecutors called Atilla instrumental to a record-breaking financial crime.

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