The United States is imposing sanctions on Turkey for purchasing Russia’s S-400 air defence system.
Criminal measures have been taken against the Turkish government organization Defense Industry (SSB), CEO Ismail Demir and three employees.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the sanctions as a “grave error”. Ankara announced “necessary steps”, including measures deemed necessary for national security.
The sanctions, including the freezing of US bank balances, are being imposed “despite our warnings,” tweeted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “We will not tolerate significant transactions with the Russian defence industry.”
The department hopes to find a solution in talks with the Turks. The sanctions include that the US will no longer issue export licenses to SSB.
Washington banned Ankara from its new F-35 (JSF) jet fighter program last year. Turkey began testing the system in October. The Turkish Foreign Ministry says the Russian systems do not jeopardize NATO’s defence.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the sanctions “unlawful and arrogant in the light of international law.”