Published time: 14 Jun, 2019 10:01
Turkey is holding firm in its commitment to honor its purchase of Russian air defense systems, warning the US that it is prepared to take reciprocal steps in reply to any sanctions imposed by Washington.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu dismissed as “futile” the US’s continuous efforts to dissuade Turkey from receiving S-400 batteries from Russia, during an interview with Turkish TV on Friday. The minister added that Ankara was steadfast in continuing with the purchase, whatever the consequences.
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We are determined on the S-400 issue. No matter what the results will be, we will not take a step back.
When asked about the possibility of a US-imposed sanctions regime against its NATO ally, Cavusoglu said Turkey was prepared to respond.
If the United States takes any negative actions towards us, we will also take reciprocal steps.
Tensions between the US government and Turkey over the S-400 have been simmering for months but have taken on a new urgency as Ankara gears up to receive its first deliveries of the system this summer. Washington argues that the incorporation of a Russian-made air defense system into Turkey’s arsenal would compromise the security of the F-35 fighter jet and has threatened to remove Turkey as a program partner. The US has also reportedly failed to respond to Turkish suggestions to form a working group in order to gauge the potential impact of the S-400 on NATO systems.Also on rt.com Nobody can give ultimatum to Turkey: Ankaras FM rejects US demand to drop S-400 deal with Russia
On Thursday, Cavusoglu commented on a letter from acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to Turkey’s defense minister, outlining how Turkey would be ostracized from the F-35 program if it didn’t comply with its demands. “We reject the wording [of] the letter to our defense minister. Nobody can give an ultimatum to Turkey,” he said.
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