U.S tightens screws on Turkey over Russian S-400 missiles

The U.S. government’s threats against Turkey once again surfaced on Thursday when the former said economic sanctions remained a “very viable” option as Ankara insists not to cancel the purchase order of Russian missile defense system.

“Seeking resolution is still within the realm of possible today, but the imposition of
sanctions remains a course of action and a very viable one at this point,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Clarke Cooper during a visit to Brussels, Reuters reported.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded: “I do not see any possibility of these sanctions happening. However, if they did, we will have sanctions of our own.”

Erdogan repeated the delivery of Russian S-400 will start in the first half of July
and if U.S. canceled the delivery of F-35 in retaliation, Turkey would appeal to international courts and ask for its F-35 payments to be refunded.

Erdogan also said he has good relations with Trump and would discuss any urgent issues over the phone. He further said they would discuss the S-400 matter with Trump at the G20 summit in Japan at the end of June.

The Turkish President blamed U.S. officials for the disagreement over the Russian missile issue.

The Turkish Lira lost its 50 percent of its value since August over the tension between Ankara and Washington. The U.S. said the S-400 is incompatible with
NATO’s defense network and could compromise its F-35 fighter jets.

Buying military equipment from Russia leaves Turkey liable to U.S. retribution under a 2017 law known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, Reuters mentioned.

Erdogan says Turkey wanted to buy Patriot missiles from the United States, but that offer was in no way comparable to Russia’s. Ankara ordered the Russian S-400 system in 2017 and claims the U.S’ refusal to sell Patriots led it to seek other

However, Cooper mentions the U.S. and other NATO allies had remained very persistent in offering Turkey alternative missile defense systems.

US-Turkey missile friction continues to simmer

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