Two US senators, a Republican and a Democrat, have called on the administration of President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on Turkey over the purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, following reports that Ankara may be planning a comprehensive test.
Republican James Lankford and Democrat Chris Van Hollen sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking for comment and saying that Washington’s failure to take decisive action on the S-400 purchase “emboldened the Turkish government.”
The efforts were preceded by reports that Turkey has activated radars to detect US-made Greek F-16 fighters following an international military exercise and plans to conduct a comprehensive test of the anti-missile system next week.
“We are writing to you about public reports that Turkey has activated radars of the S-400 anti-aircraft system to detect American-made F-16 fighters returning from the Eunomia exercises conducted by France, Italy, Greece and Cyprus at the end of August in response to an unfounded Turkish aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean, ”wrote Van Hollen and Lankford.
“Based on this information, we again urge you to impose sanctions on Turkey as required by law,” they added.
Turkey bought a batch of Russian complexes last year, with the result that Washington suspended its participation in the F-35 stealth fighter program. The United States said that Turkey could be subject to sanctions if it deployed Russian S-400 systems, but so far no such sanctions have been introduced.
The State Department did not respond to requests for comment regarding the letter.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Turkey plans to conduct a comprehensive test of the S-400 system.