U.S. is about to sanction Turkey – Reuters

The United States is poised to impose sanctions on Turkey over its acquisition last year of Russian S-400 air defense systems, four sources including two U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday.

The long-anticipated step, which is likely to infuriate Ankara and severely complicate relations with the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, could be announced any day, sources said.

The sanctions would target Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries and its head, Ismail Demir, sources have said. Several sources said they were expecting the announcement on Friday but one said it could come any day and perhaps as soon as Thursday.

The Turkish lira weakened following the news. U.S. sanctions could harm a Turkish economy already struggling with a coronavirus-induced slowdown, double-digit inflation and badly depleted foreign reserves.

A senior Turkish official said sanctions would backfire and hurt ties between the two NATO members.

According to Reuters, the U.S. State Department could alter its plans and widen or narrow the scope of planned sanctions against Turkey, a NATO ally for decades.

However, sources said the announcement of the sanctions in their current form was imminent and suggested the United States — after long waiting for Turkey to change course in the face of U.S. warnings about sanctions requirements under the law — was out of patience and finally ready to act.

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