‘Not an ordinary country’: Erdogan says US sanctions over S-400s ‘disrespectful’ to crucial NATO ally
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said imposing US sanctions on Ankara over its purchase of Russian-made S-400 air defense missile systems would be a sign of disrespect for Washington’s vital ally.
Erdogan stressed that Turkey was among the “top five” NATO member states and “not an ordinary country.”
“The US is talking about using CAATSA against Turkey, which is its very important partner within NATO. It’s disrespectful. This is how I see it,” Erdogan said, referring to a 2017 US law that allows the punishing of countries that violate American sanctions against states such as Russia.
At the same time, Erdogan said he had not had “any problems in communication” with Washington during the four years of Donald Trump’s administration. He noted that he had also worked with Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, under whom Joe Biden had served as vice president.
The Turkish leader said he and Biden know each other “well,” and Ankara “will be patient and see” if US foreign policy changes after the transition of power in Washington.
On Thursday, Reuters quoted sources saying that Biden was going to unveil a plan to sanction Turkey over the S-400s. The report said the sanctions would target Turkey’s state-run agency responsible for armaments, and its top official. So far, Biden has not announced any sanctions on Turkey.
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The US has long been trying to pressure Ankara into scrapping the S-400 deal, arguing that buying Russian-made weapons undermines NATO’s security. In order to dissuade Turkey, it blocked the delivery of F-35 aircraft to the country, and booted Ankara out of the fighter jet program.
Nevertheless, Erdogan and other Turkish officials have refused to back down, insisting the country was free to purchase arms from whomever it wants.
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Source:RT World News