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Turkey threatens to retaliate against any US sanctions over missile deal with Russia

Turkish President Erdogan (Kremlin/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said that Ankara will retaliate against any possible sanctions imposed by Washington over Turkey’s deal to buy the S-400 surface-to-air defense missile system from Russia.

In comments to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency on June 14, Cavusoglu said Turkey had a right to decide upon its defense purchases as “an independent and free” country.

Ankara’s deal with Russia has damaged relations between the two NATO allies.

The United States says the S-400 missiles are a threat to its F-35 fighter-jet program and has told Turkey it would be banned from buying F-35s over the deal.

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Washington has also warned Turkey of possible sanctions if it takes delivery of the Russian missile system.

Cavusoglu said on June 14 that Turkey “has countersteps to take” if Washington imposes sanctions.