Trump Administration Fights Bill For New Sanctions Against Turkey - Memorandum

Trump Administration Fights Bill for New Sanctions Against Turkey - Memorandum

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 23rd December, 2019) The Trump administration is fighting a congressional bid to impose new sanctions on Turkey, arguing that additional restrictive measures may grind to a halt bilateral arms trade and push the country closer to Russia to the detriment of NATO's collective defense, the US State Department said in a memorandum to senators.

The six-page memorandum obtained by the Daily Beast, expressed reservations for the bill, which seeks to punish Turkey for its purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems by introducing stiffer arms exports requirements.

The Trump administration said in the memorandum the bill's requirement for a 30-day advanced congressional notification for all Turkey foreign military cases would effectively terminate US-Turkey defense trade and affect NATO.

"In the absence of the provision of US arms, these defense pact restrictions could prompt Turkey to seek alliance with Russia as its Primary source of defense articles, impacting NATO's collective defense," the memorandum said.

The Trump administration pointed out that bill treats Turkey as a pariah in NATO, feeding a narrative that Russia "would likely seek to amplify and exploit."

Last week, US President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which also includes provisions for sanctions against Turkey over its acquisition of the S-400 air defense systems.

However, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee had passed the new bill - Promoting American National Security and Preventing the Resurgence of ISIS Act - on December 11. The acronym ISIS refers to the Islamic State terror group (banned in Russia).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly warned that Ankara would respond to the US sanctions with as of yet unspecified countermeasures.