US senators want Turkey to be sanctioned by Russia's missile system

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US lawmakers pressured the Trump administration on Monday to impose sanctions on Turkey for the purchase of a Russian missile defense system, saying the failure to do so sends a terrible signal, and a key Senate committee voted on additional legislation to punish Ankara. The time of patience has expired a long time ago. It's time they applied the law, said Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in a letter addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Not doing so is sending a terrible signal to other countries that they can ignore US laws without consequences, they said. Ankara and Washington have disagreed over the purchase by Turkey's NATO ally of the Russian S-400 system, which Washington says is not compatible with NATO defenses and poses a threat to its F-stealth fighter jets 35, which Lockheed Martin Corp is developing. Enraging many members of Congress, Turkey ignored the threat of US sanctions and began receiving its first S-400 deliveries in July. In response, Washington withdrew Turkey from the F-35 program. The administration of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, has been delayed in the imposition of sanctions even though Trump signed a radical sanctions law, known as CAATSA, in 2017 that obliges them to countries that do business with the army From Russia. The anger of US lawmakers towards Turkey intensified after Ankara crossed into Syria for an offensive against Kurdish militias that had helped US forces fight militants of the Islamic State. Senator Jim Risch, Republican president of the Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters that the committee will vote next week for a separate bill to impose severe sanctions on Ankara. When asked if that meant that his patience with Turkey had run out, Risch told reporters that that had happened a while ago. An assistant said the Foreign Relations Committee would consider the bill, co-sponsored by Risch and Senator Bob Menendez, the committee's chief Democrat, on Wednesday. The normally fervent defenders of Republican Trump, Graham and some other party members have been very critical of the president's decision to withdraw troops from northeastern Syria, paving the way for the Turkish movement against Kurdish fighters. Trump was the host of his Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Erdogan, at the White House for a meeting last month that Trump described as wonderful. But there have been no signs that Erdogan has changed his plan to buy the Russian system. The State Department did not respond to a request for comment. Pompeo said on November 26 that Turkey conducting tests on the Russian system was worrisome, and that the talks to solve the problem were still ongoing. On the same day, Russia's state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, was quoted as saying that Moscow hoped to seal an agreement to supply Turkey with more S-400 missile systems in the first half of 2020. (Reports by Patricia Zengerle, additional reports by Richard Cowan; Edition by Bill Berkrot and Cynthia Osterman) This story has not been edited by The Times of India and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe. (This story has not been edited by timesofindia.com and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe.)

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