Relations between the US and Turkey have seriously deteriorated after Washington threatened not to sell Ankara F-35 fighters if it buys S-400 missile systems from Moscow, as well as imposing sanctions if the situation remains unchanged.
Turkey intends to respond to the US in the event Washington decides to impose sanctions due to the purchase Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems by Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated at a meeting with the editors of the Anadolu agency.
"They say 'if you buy the S-400, we’ll impose sanctions.' If you impose sanctions, you will see our answer. If you want such relations, then this is your choice," the Foreign Minister said, commenting on the issue of possible sanctions.
The US approach, requiring other countries to join sanctions against Russia, is unacceptable, Cavusoglu stated.
"We see that the United States and the Russian Federation have problems, the US decided on sanctions because of interference in the elections. If I have a bad relationship with someone, would I call and tell everyone, 'Do not be friends with him.' Is this reasonable? Therefore, we do not accept this… We are buying the S-400 — and are you imposing sanctions against us for this? Relations will not proceed with this type of approach. If there are sanctions, we will respond," Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell warned on June 26 that Turkey's purchase of S-400 would lead to Washington's application of sanctions against Ankara and a qualitative change in bilateral relations.
In addition, as Mitchell stressed, the US can refuse to transfer Turkey's acquired F-35.
In November 2016, the negotiations between Turkey and Russia on the purchase of S-400 became public knowledge.
The contract arrangements were confirmed by Russia on September 12, 2017, at the same time Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that prepayment of the contract had already been made.
Turkey will become the first NATO member-state to receive the S-400 from Russia, however, the number of delivered complexes has not been officially specified.