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Iran Press TV

Turkey not to turn back on S-400 deal with Russia despite US sanctions

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 17 December 2020 11:18 AM

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says his country is resolved to buy advanced S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia, and Ankara will take reciprocal steps after evaluating the sanctions imposed by the United States over the purchase deal.

In an interview with Turkish broadcaster Kanal 24 on Thursday, Cavusoglu said Turkey would not turn back from its deal to buy the Russian air defense systems and that Washington's sanctions were an attack on the country's sovereign rights.

The top Turkish diplomat censured the US sanctions imposed under the Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) legislation as "legally and politically wrong," and said they would have no impact on Ankara.

The sanctions legislation forbids buying military equipment from and any arms transactions with Russia.

"This is not in line with international law, diplomacy, and it is a politically and legally wrong decision," Cavusoglu said, adding that the United States could have solved the dispute with common sense if it had cooperated with Turkey and NATO.

"If there was to be a step back, it would have happened by now," he said, referring to the decision to acquire the S-400s. "It's not important whether the sanctions are soft or harsh, sanctions in themselves are wrong."

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday denounced the US sanctions as a "hostile attack" on the sovereign rights of his country.

In late 2017, Ankara signed a $2.5-billion deal with Moscow to procure the S-400, a Russian-made mobile surface-to-air defense system designed to destroy aircraft, cruise, and ballistic missiles as far as 402 kilometers away.

The US and Turkey have long been at loggerheads over that deal.

Washington first tried to kill the agreement by suspending Turkey from its advanced F-35 jet program, but to no avail.

Washington claims the activation of the S-400s would compromise NATO's defenses and could give Russia access to intelligence about the American F-35 fighter jets and other military equipment.

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