WASHINGTON (Washington Post) — The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Monday, December 14, on NATO-ally Turkey’s main military weapons procurement agency as punishment for its purchase of a Russian-made missile defense system.
The sanctions were mandated under a 2017 law requiring them against any entity that engages in “significant transactions” with Russian defense or intelligence sectors.
The announcement came after Congress last week overwhelmingly passed the annual defense funding bill, which includes a provision ordering that the sanctions be imposed within 30 days. President Trump has threatened to veto the bill.
Lawmakers of both parties had criticized the administration for delaying the sanctions following Turkey’s $2.5 billion purchase of the S-400 system in 2019, inaction that some attributed to Trump’s disinclination to offend Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Senior State Department officials who briefed reporters denied that the administration’s hand was forced by passage of the defense measure. “Any decision to impose sanctions . . . requires a thorough, deliberative process” and had taken a long time to properly consider, said Matthew Palmer, deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. “That’s particularly the case when we’re talking about a NATO ally, one that is deeply integrated into NATO supply chains.”