Turkey to retaliate against US sanctions over Russian S-400s

Country's foreign ministry insisted that cancellation of the order would not happen, no matter the price

The disputed S-400s on display

Turkey threatened to “take reciprocal steps” if the United States imposes sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 defenses, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday, marking the latest step toward a standoff between the NATO allies.

“If the United States takes any negative actions towards us, we will also take reciprocal steps,” Cavusoglu told Anadolu Agency's Editors' Desk in the capital Ankara when asked about possible US sanctions. "Turkey will never retreat on its deal to buy Russian S-400 missile defense systems."

"We are determined on the S-400 issue. No matter what the results will be, we will not take a step back," he added. "We will continue our dedication in order to be an independent and free nation."

Ankara and Washington have sparred publicly for months over Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 missile systems, expected to be delivered as early as next month. Washington has warned that such a move would trigger US sanctions and sent a letter warning that Ankara would be pulled out of the F-35 jet program.  

One of the reasons for the dispute is that S-400s are not compatible with NATO’s defense systems and Washington says they would compromise its F-35s, which Turkey also plans to buy. Turkey has proposed that the allies form a working group to asses the impact of the S-400s, but has yet to receive a response from the United States.

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