December 14, local time, the United States formally announced sanctions on Turkey to punish Turkey for purchasing the S-400 air defense system from Russia.
According to the statement of the US State Department, the sanctions are aimed at the Turkish Defense Industry Agency, the Director of the National Defense Industry Agency Ismail Demir and three other employees.
Specific sanctions include: expressly prohibiting all US export transactions to the Turkish Defense Industry Agency; freezing the assets of Demir and the other three in the United States, and prohibiting the issuance of US visas to these four.
Turkey and the United States are both NATO members. Russia delivered the S-400 air defense system to Turkey last year. Turkey emphasized that this Russian-made weapons and equipment “will not be integrated with the NATO system, and will not threaten the security of allies, and hopes to establish a joint working group with the United States to resolve disputes.”
However, the United States determined that the S-400 “would pose a threat to NATO military aircraft, especially the F-35 stealth fighter,” and last year removed Turkey from the F-35 joint research and development project.
Turkey issued a statement overnight
Expressed opposition to US sanctions
In response to the U.S. sanctions decision, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement overnight, condemning the U.S. unilateral sanctions on Turkey as “completely unreasonable”, urging the U.S. to reconsider this unfair decision and correct this serious mistake as soon as possible, otherwise Turkey will take action. Necessary countermeasures.
Turkish President Erdogan also expressed disappointment at the behavior of the US. Erdogan said that as an ally of NATO, the United States should support Turkey instead of sanctions.
U.S. sanctions allies
“What medicine is sold in the gourd?”
As an ally of NATO, the United States imposed sanctions on Turkey. The reason for the United States is that Turkey’s purchase of Russian weapons poses a threat to NATO equipment. Is the reason really that simple?
Russian media: NATO is now a US arms sales “scam”
“Russia Today” reported that there is another reason why the United States is so aggressive, that is, Turkey does not buy from the United States, so that the United States lost the opportunity to sell arms.
Sanctions make it difficult for the new U.S. government to improve U.S.-Turkey relations
The U.S. government is currently in a transitional phase. The Associated Press analyzed that after taking office, Biden will seek to reconsolidate the alliance with the United States and does not want Russia and Turkey to continue to approach. However, the current US government’s announcement of sanctions on Turkey at this time is likely to further push Turkey to Russia, and at the same time make it more difficult for the new government to improve relations with Turkey.
Turkey may threaten again
Close the U.S. military base
At present, Turkey has not clearly stated how it will respond if the United States does not lift the sanctions. However, Turkey has repeatedly threatened that if the United States imposes sanctions on Turkey, it will not rule out closing the US military bases in Turkey.
According to data from the US Department of Defense, there are currently 15 military bases in Turkey for use by the United States and NATO. These bases are of great strategic significance for the United States to “contain Russia and contain Iran”—especially the Ingillik Air Base in southern Turkey.
Ingillik Air Force Base has always been the main base for US operations in the Middle East. Currently, the United States has deployed a variety of fighters and bombers at the base, and there are still dozens of nuclear bombs stored here.
Just last October, after Turkey launched a military operation in northern Syria, the United States even considered withdrawing these nuclear bombs to prevent them from becoming “hostages” in the soil.