U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is pushing a resolution in the Senate condemning Turkey’s increased ties to Russia and calling on American allies to discuss that nation’s continued role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
With the support of U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., increasingly an ally that the junior senator from Florida is working with, Scott brought out the resolution on Thursday which would sanction Turkey for buying a S-400 air and missile defense system from Russia. The resolution also questions if Turkey should be included in NATO. Turkey has been a member of NATO for more than 65 years.
“Turkey’s purchase of military systems from Russia threatens our national security and the stability of NATO,” Scott said on Thursday before turning his fire to Russia. “We cannot allow Russia – which tries to interfere in elections across the globe, supports Maduro’s genocide in Venezuela, and threatens the peace and security of democratic nations – to interfere in Turkey. It is our responsibility to protect the safety of American families and our allies, and we must call upon members of NATO to determine if Turkey presents a danger to the alliance.”
Scott’s resolution calls for NATO members “to discuss the future role of Turkey in NATO given its engagement with Russia.”
While the Trump administration has been reluctant to support adding sanctions Turkey, there have been increasing calls to do so on Capitol Hill.
“The law clearly mandates sanctions penalties for ‘significant transactions’ with the Russian Federation’s defense and intelligence sectors, which would clearly include the delivery of an S-400 system,” U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, told Reuters.
Scott’s resolution was sent to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week.