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Turkey promises tit-for-tat response if US imposes sanctions over S-400s

Ankara has warned it will retaliate in kind if the US imposes sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems, while Moscow has hinted at a potential expansion of defense cooperation with Turkey.

The first deliveries of Russian surface-to-air S-400 defense systems arrived in Turkey earlier in July, as part of a deal which drew criticism from the United States even before it was settled. After the deliveries began, the US cut Turkey off from its F-35 program, stating that the stealth fighter “cannot coexist” alongside the Russian air defense systems.

“If the United States portrays an adversarial attitude towards us, we will take retaliatory measures, as we’ve told them. This is not a threat or a bluff,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber on Monday.

He doubted President Donald Trump really wants to go through with sanctions against Ankara, but added that Turkey is not “a country that will bow down to those who show animosity” towards it.

The Turkish government has blasted the US move regarding the fighter-jets as a “mistake that will cause irreparable wounds in our strategic relations,” maintaining that Turkey would buy whatever weapons it wants.

Sergei Chemezov, head of Russia's Rostec state conglomerate, said Turkey is currently in talks with Russia on the prospect of jointly manufacturing S-400 components on Turkish soil.


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