Alwaght- Turkey threatened the US with mirror sanctions if Washington impose sanctions on Ankara over purchasing Russian S-400 air defense systems and signing a natural gas deal with Moscow.
Turkish daily Sabah quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying on Friday that Turkey is not a country that will have its hands tied while facing US sanctions and will respond with retaliatory measures
“Both the S-400s and the steps regarding the F-35s, these are done deals,” Erdogan said during a meeting with the press at the end of a summit of Muslim countries’ leaders in Malaysia.
Russia and Turkey finalized an agreement on the delivery of the S-400 in December 2017. In July, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said the country had received the first shipment containing S-400 parts.
The defense agreement came despite raucous opposition from the US. It would claim that the Russian equipment was incompatible with the rest of the military hardware possessed by the Western military alliance of NATO, which has Washington as its biggest member and is also partaken in by Ankara.
An agreement had also been signed in October 2016 on the construction of the TurkStream gas pipeline that would take Russian natural gas to Turkey. Construction work started in May 2017 and the project is scheduled to become operational at the beginning of 2020.
The US Congress is about to sanction Ankara over the dual Russo-Turkish agreements.
Erdogan, however, added, "This is a breach of our rights in the fullest sense. We will of course have our own sanctions against all of these."
Responding to the defense accord, the US has also subtracted Ankara from an international project aimed at building American F-35 warplanes.
During Erdogan’s presidency, Washington has, on several occasions, issued voluble threats against Ankara before softening its tone and retracting its stance within a considerably short period of time.
On October 14, it sanctioned several Turkish ministers and departments over Turkey’s renewed offensive targeting US-backed Turkish militants in northern Syria but lifted the bans only nine days later.
Observers say Turkey’s geopolitical whereabouts, which has wedged it between Russia and the US’s staunch allies in Europe, prevents Washington from long-term confrontation with Ankara.