May 07, 2018
TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned he will “retaliate” if Donald Trump bans the sale of weapons over Ankara’s decision to buy arms from Russia in a deepening row between the two major NATO allies, with the US taking an increasingly robust stance in the conflict.
We are not under US orders Turkey vows to retaliate if Trump bans Russian arms deal
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “If the United States imposes sanctions on us or takes such steps, Turkey will absolutely retaliate.
“What needs to be done is the USA needs to let go of this.
“Turkey is not a country under your orders, it is an independent country.
“Speaking to such a country from above, dictating what it can and cannot buy, is not a correct approach and does not fit our alliance.”
Plans to stop selling arms to Turkey have been proposed at the House of Representatives via the US National Defense Authorisation Act.
If the Act was passed, it would see all sales of US defence weaponry to Turkey halted, pending a report on the relationship between the two nations.
Turkish officials have been angered by the plans because they had been negotiating the purchase of Patriot missiles and more than 100 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jets with America.
Mr Cavusoglu wants to visit the US next week to speak directly to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who had previously expressed scepticism over Turkey’s deepening ties with Russia.
We are not under US orders Turkey vows to retaliate if Trump bans Russian arms deal
US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert added Washington has “serious concerns about Turkey’s potential acquisition” of aircraft systems.
Washington officials argue that NATO members should only buy weapons that are “Interoperable with other NATO partners.”
US Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell suggested Mr Erdogan could be hit with sanctions over the weapons deal under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which attempts to reduce Russian arms exports.
Mr Mitchell said it is “in the American national interest to see Turkey strategically and politically aligned with the West.”
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hit back at the US, calling the three of sanctions “a typical example of attempted blackmail.”
Mr Lavrov added US companies get an “unfair advantage in market competitions” through such dealings.
Turkey and Russia signed a deal for S-400 systems to start in 2020 - but Moscow officials have suggested the process could be fast-tracked.
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