Bloomberg: US considers sanctions against Turkey over S-400 missiles

The most severe package would all but cripple the already troubled Turkish economy

Bloomberg news agency reports that the US is considering a series of sanctions against Turkey in response to Ankara’s agreement to buy the Russian S-400 missile system.

The Trump administration is weighing three sanctions packages to punish Turkey over its purchases of the Russian S-400 missile-defense system, according to people familiar with the matter.

The most severe package under discussion between officials at the National Security Council and the State and Treasury departments would all but cripple the already troubled Turkish economy, according to three people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations.

Any of the options would come on top of the months-old U.S. pledge to cut off sales of the F-35 jet to Turkey if President Recep Tayyip Erdogan keeps his vow to buy the Russian system.

The idea with the most support for now is to target several companies in Turkey’s key defense sector under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which targets entities doing business with Russia. Such sanctions would effectively sever those companies from the U.S. financial system, making it almost impossible for them to buy American components or sell their products in the U.S.

The Turkish lira was trading 0.6% weaker against the dollar as of 12:05 p.m. in Istanbul, after falling as much 1.5% to 5.9171 on the news earlier Wednesday. Bonds and stocks fell, with the yield on 10-year government debt jumping 38 basis points to 18%. The benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index was poised for its first loss in four days.

The Treasury Department referred questions to the State Department, which had no immediate comment on the sanctions plans.

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