Duvar English - Reuters
A Republican and a Democratic U.S. senator called on Oct. 7 for President Donald Trump's administration to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of Russia's S-400 anti-aircraft system, after a report that Turkey may be planning a comprehensive test.
Republican James Lankford and Democrat Chris Van Hollen wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking about the report and saying that Washington's failure to act more decisively about the S-400 purchase had "emboldened" Turkey's government.
Turkey bought a batch of the missile systems from Russia last year, leading to its suspension by Washington from the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jet program. The United States has said Turkey risks U.S. sanctions if it deploys the Russian-made S-400s, but has not yet imposed them.
The senators' call came after Ankara sent the systems to the Black Sea province of Sinop for testing. While Turkish authorities have not made any official statements on this, sources told Bloomberg that the country is planning to conduct a comprehensive test of the S-400 systems next week.US 'deeply concerned' about reports on Turkey's possible S-400 tests
The State Department said on Oct. 7 it was "deeply concerned" about reports on the possible tests.
"We are aware of these reports. We continue to object strenuously to Turkey's purchase of the S-400 air defense system, and are deeply concerned with reports that Turkey is continuing its efforts to bring the S-400 into operation," a State Department spokesperson told Sputnik.
"Our suspension of Turkey from the F-35 program, in response to the S-400 acquisition, signaled the seriousness with which the Administration approaches this issue," the spokesperson said, referring to Washington's exclusion of Ankara from the U.S. program of developing the fifth-generation F-35 fighter-bomber.Turkey sends S-400 missile defense systems to Black Sea province for testing