Erdogan doubles down on S-400 deal, vows Turkey will retaliate against any US sanctions
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his commitment to the S-400 defense deal with Russia at a press conference on Thursday, vowing to respond to any sanctions Washington imposes over the deal in kind.
Calling the multi-billion-dollar agreement with Russia for the purchase of the advanced surface-to-air missile defense systems a “done deal,” Erdrogan promised reprisal if the US attempts to punish Turkey over the matter.
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 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.”
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The Turkish leader plans to discuss the disagreement with Trump at the upcoming G20 summit in Japan later this month.
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