Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (R) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. (Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)

Erdogan Calls on Trump to Waive Potential Sanctions over S-400s

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on his US counterpart to waive any potential economic sanctions that Congress might impose on Ankara due to its controversial purchase of the Russian-made S-400 aerial defense system. Erdogan’s comments came two days after Turkey received its first shipment of parts of the S-400, which is not inter-operable with other NATO equipment and could jeopardize the security of fifth-generation US F-35 stealth fighter jets that Turkey wants. The Turkish leader was quoted as saying that President Trump “has the authority to waive or postpone CAATSA,” a US sanctions program designed to prevent countries from buying military hardware from Moscow. “Since this is the case,” Erdogan continued, “it is Trump who needs to find the middle ground.” The US leader has indeed expressed a willingness to reach a solution and has green-lighted Turkey’s possible acquisition of the US-made Patriot missile defense system. Nevertheless, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a Washington Post interview published Sunday, reiterated that American “law requires that there be sanctions [imposed on Turkey], and I’m confident that… President Trump will comply.”

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