WASHINGTON — State Department officials on Monday announced the Trump administration is sanctioning Turkey for its “unacceptable” purchase of a $2.5 billion missile defense system from Russia.

The sanctions come more than a year after Turkey purchased Russia’s S-400 system in July 2019 — a violation of a law passed by Congress in 2017 requiring sanctions on any country that made a “significant purchase” of defense equipment from Moscow.

The State Department said Turkey had been warned “at the highest levels” that purchasing the S-400 would not only threaten US military technology and personnel but give the Kremlin significant funds and access to the Turkish military.

Repeated offers for the NATO ally to instead purchase US Patriot fighter jets were ignored, officials said.

“This decision left us no alternative but to act,” Chris Ford, Trump’s top diplomat for arms control, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, told reporters.

“Unfortunately, Turkey turned down every single one of these efforts over literally several years now and many engagements and many alternatives offered, leaving us with no choice ultimately,” he went on.

“We very much regret that this has been necessary and we very much hope that Turkey will work with us to resolve the S-400 problem as quickly as possible,” he continued.

The sanctions will target Turkey’s defense procurement and development body, the Presidency of Defence Industries.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the decision as a betrayal of their NATO alliance as relations between the two countries continue to fray.

“From our NATO ally the United States, we expect support in our battle against terrorist organizations and forces that have plans for our region, not sanctions,” he said during a cabinet meeting, according to Reuters.

President Trump had been reluctant to slap Ankara with sanctions of their missile acquisition and it’s unclear how the sanctions, introduced in the final weeks of the Trump administration, will impact President-elect Joe Biden’s relationship with Erdogan.

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