Alwaght- Turkey threatened the US with “reciprocal steps” if Washington imposes sanctions on Ankara over its procure of Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems.
Asked about possible US sanctions, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview broadcast on Turkish TV on Friday, “If the United States takes any negative actions toward us, we will also take reciprocal steps.”
Turkey and the United States have been at loggerheads for months over Ankara’s purchase order for the S-400s, which the US claims are incompatible with NATO systems and the Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 stealth fighters.
Washington has given Ankara until the end of July to cancel its purchase of the Russian missile defense systems or see another deal — for the purchase of F-35s from the US — canceled.
“We are determined on the S-400 issue. No matter what the results will be, we will not take a step back,” Cavusoglu stressed, ruling out revoking the order.
Turkish officials have repeatedly stressed that the deal for the S-400 system will not be canceled and that the US has to carry out its own obligations under the contract for the purchase of the US F-35s.
On Monday, the US grounded Turkish F-35 pilots in Arizona over the S-400 contract, the Pentagon announced.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has objected to that development and has said he plans to raise it with US President Donald Trump when they meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan later this month.