Alwaght- Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to go ahead with the purchase of S-400 missile defense system from Russia while warning that his country will respond to any sanctions imposed by the US over the deal.
Calling the multi-billion-dollar agreement with Russia for the purchase of the advanced surface-to-air missile defense systems a “done deal,” Erdogan promised reprisal if the US attempts to punish Turkey over the matter.
The S-400 is an advanced Russian missile system designed to detect, track, and destroy planes, drones, or missiles as far as 402 kilometers away. It has previously been sold only to China and India.
Turkey and the US, two NATO allies, have been at loggerheads for months over Ankara’s purchase order for the S-400s, which Washington claims are incompatible with NATO systems and the F-35 stealth fighters.
The US has made a number of threats over the past few months in an attempt to dissuade Turkey from going through with the buy, including imposing sanctions and removing Turkey as a partner in the F-35 fighter program.
Aside from Turkish pilots receiving training in the new planes, Turkey was granted the right to produce parts for the jet, and the country’s air force had planned to acquire 100 of the jets.
The Turkish president, who made the remarks on Thursday in a rare press conference attended by foreign journalists, also said he didn’t see any possibility of the US using the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) to impose sanctions. He warned Washington to “think very carefully” about going through with its threats, promising that Turkey would return the gesture.
“We would have our own sanctions against them,” Erdogan said. He noted that, while relations with US President Donald Trump have remained solid, “our ties with people working under him are far more different.”
The Turkish leader plans to discuss the disagreement with Trump at the upcoming G20 summit in Japan later this month.