Ankara: A senior Turkish official says his country will not bow to US sanctions over its agreement to purchase advanced Russian-built S-400 air defense missile systems.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Turkish-language and nationwide Kanal 7 television network on Sunday, Vice President Fuat Oktay said United States concerns on the issue were not reasonable and added that Turkey would not back down.
The Russian official went on to say that Turkey, irrespective of US-led pressure regarding the S-400 deal, is holding a very direct and consistent position concerning implementation of all provisions of the contract.
The United States announced on April 1 that it would be suspending all “deliveries and activities” related to Turkey’s procurement of F-35 stealth fighter jets over Ankara’s plans to purchase the S-400s.
On April 24, Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country will look elsewhere for an alternative to American F-35 fighter jets if Washington blocks the delivery of its advanced stealth warplanes to Ankara.
“We are already partners in the F-35 manufacturing program, we participate in this project, we have paid the necessary amount. There are currently no problems with this,” Cavusoglu said.
“But in the worst case scenario, we will have to satisfy our need in another place, where the best technologies will be offered,” he added.
Moscow and Ankara finalized an agreement on the delivery of the S-400 in December 2017.