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Won’t step back from S-400 deal with Russia, says Turkey

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Foreign Minister Cavusoglu says U.S. sanctions are mistaken

Turkey won’t step back from its determination to deploy Russian air defence programs regardless of U.S. sanctions imposed on the nation over the acquisition, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated on Thursday.

In an interview with Turkey’s 24 TV tv, Mr. Cavusoglu additionally stated Turkey was mulling steps it will take to reciprocate towards the U.S. sanctions, however didn’t say what the steps might entail.

The U.S introduced sanctions earlier this week over Turkey’s procurement of Russia’s superior S-400 system, underneath a U.S. regulation referred to as CAATSA, aimed toward pushing back on Russian affect. The sanctions goal Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries, the top of the presidency and three different senior officers.

The penalties block any property the 4 officers might have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar their entry into the U.S. They additionally embody a ban on most export licenses, loans and credit to the company.

‘Assessing impact’

“If we were to step back we would have done so before now,” Mr. Cavusoglu stated

. “Now we are assessing the impact of these sanctions in great detail … and will take steps accordingly.”

The Minister additionally described the sanctions as “wrong both legally and politically”, arguing that Turkey’s buy of the Russian system in 2017 predated the CAATSA regulation.

Mr. Cavusoglu stated that an enchancment of relations between Turkey and the United States could be conditional on President-elect Joe Biden’s skill to handle Ankara’s grievances.

Ties between the 2 have been suffering from quite a few disputes, together with the jailing of American residents and native consular workers, U.S. assist for Syrian Kurdish fighters thought-about to be terrorists by Turkey and the continued U.S. residence of a Muslim cleric accused of masterminding the 2016 coup try in Turkey.

The U.S. had beforehand kicked Turkey out of its F-35 stealth jet program, saying their use alongside the Russian expertise would jeopardize the protection of the fighter jets. Washington additionally says the Russian system wouldn’t be interoperable with NATO programs.

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