Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday Ankara would take retaliatory moves against Washington should it introduce sanctions over the acquisition of Russian air defense systems S-400.
“If the United States begins to take negative steps, we have retaliatory moves. America has made a number of decisions, but we are not going to stay silent. If we see a negative attitude to us, we will respond proportionately,” Cavusoglu said at a meeting with editors of the Anadolu news agency.
He added that Ankara was strongly minded on the issue of acquiring S-400 and had no intention to backtrack.
The first reports Russia-Turkey were in talks over an S-400 contract emerged in November 2016. Russia confirmed the conclusion of the contract on September 12, 2017. Turkish Defense Minister Hulisi Akar said the S-400 will begin to be deployed in October 2019. The CEO of Russia’s corporation Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, said the value of the S-400 contract with Turkey stood at $2.5 million.
The United States has been taking active steps trying to upset the deal. Washington earlier warned Ankara should it purchase such weapon systems the United States might refuse to sell to Turkey its F-35 fighters.
S-400 Triumf is Russia’s medium and long-range air defense system meant to provide protection from attack and reconnaissance means and other air targets amid intensive fire and radio-electronic resistance.