Turkey Vows Response to US Sanctions Over Purchase Of Russian S-400 Missile System

The US Treasury introduced sanctions on four Turkish officials and the Presidency of Defense Industries on Monday.

The Turkish government office, responsible for strengthening national security and managing the supply of military technology, over Ankara’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system replies.

Turkey “condemns and rejects” Washington’s decision to sanctions on its defence officials and the Presidency of Defense Industries over Ankara’s purchase of a Russian-made air defence system, and reserves the right to respond, even this means worsened relations with Washington, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has announced.

Turkey’s ministry said will “take the necessary steps against this decision, which will inevitably have a negative impact on our relations. Furthermore, Turkey will not refrain from taking measures it considers necessary to ensure its national security.”  Not specifying what these measures may entail.

Ankara also rejected the US justification for the sanctions in relation to the threat supposedly posed to NATO by its S-400s, suggesting such claims have no basis in reality.

“Turkey had proposed the creation of a technical working group with NATO’s participation, and has repeatedly proposed resolving this issue on an objective and realistic basis, without political bias. We invite the United States to reconsider this unfair decision,” the ministry indicated.

But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured Turkey that it remains an important ally to the US, and expressed hope that that the country would take steps to resolve the disagreement by getting rid of its S-400s.

“I also urge Turkey to resolve the S-400 problem immediately in coordination with the United States. Turkey is a valued Ally and an important regional security partner for the United States, and we seek to continue our decades-long history of productive defense-sector cooperation by removing the obstacle of Turkey’s S-400 possession as soon as possible,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Turkey, Pompeo added, had been warned repeatedly “at the highest levels” that “its purchase of the S-400 system would endanger the security of US military technology and personnel and provide substantial funds to Russia’s defense sector, as well as Russian access to the Turkish armed forces and defense industry.”

Pompeo said that Turkey moved forward with purchasing and testing S-400s “despite the availability of alternative, NATO-interoperable systems to meet its defense requirements.” This decision, Pompeo recalled prompted the US to remove Turkey out of the F-35 programme.

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