US bipartisan defense bill foresees sanctions against Turkey over Russian S-400

US bipartisan defense bill foresees sanctions against Turkey over Russian S-400

A defense bill approved by American lawmakers and announced on Thursday foresees sanctions against Turkey over its purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia, including a ban on US banking and property transactions, the denial of US visas and forcing US lenders to deny loans to any sanctioned companies.

The 740-billion-dollar National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is expected to pass Congress this month and would force the White House to impose sanctions within 30 days of becoming law.

If passed within the next few days, the law would put the onus on outgoing US President Donald Trump, who has held off from punishing Ankara for its purchase of the controversial missile defense system, which NATO sees as a threat to the military alliance and one that potentially endangers the technical secrets of the F-35 aircraft.

According to the Financial Times, Trump has threatened to veto the annual defense spending legislation, but he will face pressure to sign it because it funds the salaries of military personnel.

Under the bill, Turkey is at risk of at least five sanctions for making what the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) defines as a “significant transaction” with Russia for the $2.5 billion purchase of the S-400.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob Menendez was among several lawmakers who hailed the stricter approach to Turkey in the new legislation.

“Incredibly proud to have helped secure inclusion of a provision in the NDAA to do what President Trump refused to do: Officially determine on behalf of the US [government] that #Turkey took delivery of Russian S-400 defense systems and therefore will be sanctioned under existing law,” the Democratic senator for New Jersey said in a tweet.

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