Menendez | “I am not concerned about the threats of Turkey, any response will be turned against them” 

Defence Redefined
Published on 16/12/2020 at 09:06

Senator Robert Menendez is not concerned about the retaliation of Turkey after the imposition of CAATSA sanctions (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act).

Speaking to ERT correspondent, Lena Argyri, in Washington the Democratic senator made it clear that he was not worried about the Turkish threats, as “any possible response from Turkey would have the opposite effect and would ultimately hurt Turkey itself.”

Turkey had called Washington’s decision a “serious mistake”, stressing that it intended to respond. 

Also read: Erdogan wonders why Americans do not say anything about S300 in Greece

Commenting on the fact that the sanctions were imposed 17 full months after the acquisition of the Russian systems, the senator said “I am pleased that even belatedly the US government realized what Democrats and Republicans had long ago realized: that Turkey should have been punished on the very day it received the S-400, it should not be so difficult or time consuming.”

He went on to say that not only did Turkey receive the Russian system, but also it ignored all American warnings and proceeded to activate it, testing it against a US-made F-16. The US senator described the move as “a significant threat to US national security and the security of countries in the wider region.”

Asked whether the 2021 defence budget, which provided for sanctions on Turkey, played a role in the government’s decision, Menendez said “the amendment I made to the budget, which provides for sanctions on Turkey for one year, was certainly a driving force, but Turkey’s behavior itself played a role, not only in relation to the Russian systems, but also in the Eastern Mediterranean, in Libya, and more recently in Nagorno – Karabakh.”

“All this made even President Trump, who would rather maintain his relationship with Erdogan, see that imposing sanctions was the only way.”

The leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said the sanctions were more symbolic than practical. Nevertheless, he acknowledged their importance, especially in terms of banning all US export licenses which, he said, would have significant consequences for Turkey. 

Regarding Turkey’s reaction and threats, Menendez stressed that Ankara should not be surprised, as “we had repeatedly warned the authorities of the consequences and offered them ways out which they refused to take advantage of … Therefore, I am not concerned about the threats of Turkey, any response will be turned against them.”

Also read: Turkey launches S-400 missiles in Sinop – Photos & VIDEO

Source: CNA





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