Turkey expects to protect Trump from any sanctions because of the purchase of Russian missile system

S-400
File RT

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Turkey expects President Donald Trump to use an exemption to protect it if the US Congress decides to punish Ankara for its purchase of the Russian air defense system, a Turkish presidential spokesman said on Tuesday.

The United States has threatened to impose sanctions if Turkey completes its deal with Russia. Ankara says that buying the Russian system should not lead to sanctions because Turkey is not indifferent to Washington and remains committed to NATO.

“If so, and Congress approved the proposed sanctions, we certainly expect President Trump to use his powers to issue an exemption on that issue,” Turkish President’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told reporters.

US officials have described Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system as “a deep dilemma”, saying it would threaten the security of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jets. Turkey has refused to back down from the deal and said it would take over the system in July.

The row between Washington and Ankara is the latest in a series of diplomatic disputes between the two countries that include Turkey’s demand for the United States to hand over cleric Fethullah Colin, as well as differences over Middle East policy, the war in Syria and sanctions against Iran.

When asked what Turkey would do if Trump refrained from offering an exemption, Kalin said Turkey would wait to see the scope of the sanctions but hoped it would not come to that.

“Threats and penalties will be very counterproductive and will not yield any positive results,” Kalin said.

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