Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu dismissed as "futile" the US's continuous efforts to dissuade Turkey from receiving S-400 batteries from Russian Federation, during an interview with Turkish TV on Friday. Turkey's statement is another proof of a standoff between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.
Turkey and Russian Federation have not always seen eye-to-eye in regards to Syria policy, but the relationship between the two countries appears to have been bolstered by Turkey's controversial decision to purchase an S-400 missile defense system from Russian Federation. The move would also see Turkey locked out of receiving the next generation of F-35 stealth fighter jets from the US.
Erdogan was lying about the U.S. refusing to sell him defense systems.
During a visit to Moscow in April, Erdogan said Russian Federation and Turkey must "strengthen cooperation in the military-technical sphere". Moscow has said it will begin the delivery of the systems in July.
"If the United States takes any negative actions towards us, we will also take reciprocal steps", Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu, the minister, said when asked about possible USA sanctions in an interview broadcast on Turkish TV. As of this writing, it's an open question of how severe United States sanctions will be. We should have a better sense of where things stand by end of June.
Turkey has cleared 4,000 square kilometers of Syrian land of terrorist groups, he said, adding: "We have enabled 330,000 Syrian refugees to return to their homeland". So major, in fact, that it could cause the United States to abandon Incirlik all together, one of its most important bases in the region. Russian Federation is a main backer of Assad and his forces, while Turkey backs some Syrian opposition fighters.
"We are working hard with Russian Federation to stop these attacks".
That Turkey is the only one taking the economic hits throughout this drama.
"Why do they create such problems about it?" he asked, repeating Ankara's proposal of setting up a technical committee to study USA concerns of the deployment of the S-400s and F-35 aircraft together on the Turkish soils, the report said. Hard to say if that reflects worse on the USA or on Turkey. Washington maintains the move will jeopardize Turkey's role in the US F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger congressional sanctions.