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US sanctions on Turkey flout int’l law, Russian FM Lavrov says

The U.S. decision to sanction Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system is a typical show of American arrogance and lawlessness, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday.

“Of course, it’s yet another manifestation of an arrogant attitude toward international law and the use of illegitimate unilateral measures the U.S. has used left and right for many years, even decades,” Lavrov told a news conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo.

Such an approach does nothing for the credibility of the U.S. as a responsible participant in the international arena, including military-technical cooperation, he added.

The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

The sanctions, coming under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), target Turkey’s Defense Industries (SSB) Presidency, including its head Ismail Demir and three other officials.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the SSB knowingly engaged in a significant transaction with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms export entity, by procuring the S-400 surface-to-air missile system.

“The sanctions include a ban on all U.S. export licenses and authorizations to SSB and an asset freeze and visa restrictions on Dr. Ismail Demir, SSB’s president, and other SSB officials,” he added.

In a written statement Turkey’s Foreign Ministry denounced the decision.

“We condemn and reject the decision to impose unilateral sanctions against Turkey as announced today by the U.S. in the context of Turkey’s acquisition of S-400 air defense systems,” the ministry said.

Back in June 2019, President Donald Trump said his predecessor President Barack Obama had treated Turkey unfairly when Ankara requested to purchase U.S. Patriot missile defense systems.

Earlier on Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the U.S. should support its ally (Turkey), not sanction it.

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