[Ed. – Sanctions are stupid, but this one has no obvious solution. NATO’s air defense is supposed to be alliance-wide and fully interoperable. Turkey is clearly bidding to occupy a privileged middle seat between NATO and Russia, with a foot on both sides and Ankara’s finger on the lever for a mutual-vulnerability trap door. If you were Turkey, frankly, you’d probably want to do the same thing. Russia’s intentions in the region are blatantly evident, whereas the U.S. motors along trying not to have a discernible policy at all. Turkey couldn’t afford to just fall in with the U.S. march to nowhere, even if she weren’t being run by a vicious neo-Ottoman Islamist caliphater.]
Turkey’s recent purchase of an advanced Russian anti-air weapons system may have violated a U.S. law that would require an automatic imposition of sanctions on the NATO member, a top Democratic lawmaker said today.
The letter, sent by Maryland Sen. [score]Ben Cardin[/score] to Trump administration officials, warns that Ankara’s purchase of Moscow’s S-400 air defense system, which finalized on Tuesday, violates congressional sanctions against Russia signed into law last month.
The legislation imposes sanctions “on any person that conducts a significant transaction with the Russian Federation’s defense or intelligence sectors,” wrote Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Trump White House resisted the sanctions as a congressional intrusion on presidential diplomacy.