A bipartisan group of Congress members introduced legislation Friday that would sanction Turkey for its purchase of a Russian missile defense system, in a sign of Washington’s frustration Ankara’s recent behavior.
“Turkey’s recent actions are incompatible with our nation’s security and the interests of our NATO allies,” Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger said in a statement explaining the legislation.
The United States has previously said that the Russian S-400 missile defense system is not compatible with NATO’s defense network and that it could compromise its Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets.
Washington strongly advised Turkey against moving forward with the deal, but Turkey went ahead anyway.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who sponsored the recent bill, criticized Turkey for making “questionable decisions that do not reflect leadership of a NATO nation.”
In the joint statement released by Kinzinger, Spanberger and Michael McCaul, Kinzinger cited Turkey’s indifference to warnings from NATO members about the arms deal with Russia after they accepted the first installment of the S-400 missile defense system.
“We need to make it very clear that their actions will not be tolerated and will be met with serious consequences. Our legislation does that and makes the actions by Turkey an explicitly sanctionable offense,” Kinzinger said.
For his part, McCaul said the US Administration “must impose the sanctions required by law in response to Turkey’s” actions “unless and until Turkey takes the steps outlined in this bill to repair the damage this purchase has caused.”
The three US officials said that Turkey’s actions were endangering the US and NATO allies with its recent actions.
The bill still must go to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and if there are enough votes, it will be put on the House floor before going to the Senate.