Turkey slams 'unilateral' US sanctions over S-400s
Turkey on Dec. 14 roundly rejected new U.S. sanctions on the country over its procurement of Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems and called on Washington to reverse it is decision, warning that Turkey would also retaliate as necessary.
“We condemn and reject the decision to impose unilateral sanctions against Turkey as announced today by the U.S. in the context of Turkey’s acquisition of S-400 air defense systems,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The conditions which compelled Turkey to acquire S-400 systems are well known. President [Donald] Trump himself has admitted on many instances that Turkey’s acquisition was justified,” the ministry added, referring to Turkey’s repeatedly rebuffed efforts to buy U.S. Patriot missiles.
U.S. claims that the S-400 systems would jeopardize NATO systems are baseless, it said, adding that Turkey has repeatedly proposed addressing the issue in an objective, realistic, and politically unbiased manner through a working group with NATO participation.
“The U.S. recourse to unilateral sanctions, by refusing our proposal to solve this matter through dialogue and diplomacy as befitting two allies is completely senseless,” it added.
“Turkey will take the necessary steps against this decision, which will negatively affect our relations and will retaliate in a manner and timing it deems appropriate. Turkey will never refrain from taking the necessary measures to safeguard its national security,” it underlined.
It urged the U.S. to reconsider its unjust sanctions decision and avoid making a mistake.
Elaborating on the U.S. sanctions against Turkey, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said, “This is a national issue. We will show an honorable and upright posture.”
Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın also stressed Turkey’s determined stance in the face of sanctions, adding that Turkey will decisively continue to take steps to achieve its defense industry goals.
Criticizing the move, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said the sanctions will only boost the country’s determination on steps to strengthen its national interests and defense industry under the leadership of Erdoğan.
“No country’s sanctions will sway Turkey’s determined stance. We condemn this decision and call on the U.S. to step back from this mistake as soon as possible,” Oktay said on Twitter.
Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said the sanctions ill fit the spirit of alliance. “We will continue to take every step with determination necessary for the defense of our country,” he said on Twitter.
Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, meanwhile, described the decision as illogical, inconclusive and against the spirit of partnership.
Altun stressed that Turkey has acted to ensure its national security, as well as to support regional and global stability, not to create tension with any country.
“Our commitment to our national sovereignty is unshakable and closed to the impact of sanctions threats, said Altun.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Dec. 14 imposed sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.
The sanctions, coming under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), target Turkey’s Defense Industries (SSB) Presidency, including its head İsmail Demir and three other officials.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that the SSB knowingly engaged in a significant transaction with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms export entity, by procuring the S-400 surface-to-air missile system.
“The sanctions include a ban on all U.S. export licenses and authorizations to SSB and an asset freeze and visa restrictions on Dr. İsmail Demir, SSB’s president, and other SSB officers,” he added.
Trump said in June 2019 that his predecessor President Barack Obama had treated Turkey unfairly when Ankara requested to purchase of the U.S. Patriot missile defense systems.
US sanctions undermine values of alliance between two countries: Turkish defense minister
U.S. sanctions against Ankara over its acquisition of Russian-made S-400 defense systems are inconsistent with its NATO partnership and the current military and political realities, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Dec. 15.
“These sanctions have undermined all the values of the alliance between our countries. However, efforts to ensure the defense and security of our country and our noble nation will continue with determination,” Akar told state-run Anadolu Agency.
“It is clear that imposing sanctions on a NATO member country will not only undermine the spirit of an alliance but will undermine trust among allies,” he said.
“Returning to cooperation and solidarity with the U.S., which has been our ally since the Korean war, in the context of the current military and political situation in regional and global defense and security issues will also contribute to regional and global peace and security,” Akar said.
Çavuşoğlu, Pompeo discuss sanctions
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed Washington's decision to sanction its NATO ally Turkey in a phone call on Dec. 15, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
US sanctions on Turkey arrogantly flout int’l law: Lavrov
The U.S. decision to impose sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense is a typical show of American arrogance and lawlessness, said Russia’s defense minister on Dec. 14.
“Of course, it’s yet another manifestation of an arrogant attitude toward international law and the use of illegitimate unilateral forcible measures the U.S. has used left and right for many years, even decades,” Sergey Lavrov told
a news conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo.
Such an approach does nothing for the credibility of the U.S. as a responsible participant in the international arena, including military-technical cooperation, he added.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Dec. 15 condemned U.S. sanctions against Turkey as “contempt for international law.”
“U.S. addiction to sanctions and contempt for international law at full display again. We strongly condemn recent U.S. sanctions against Turkey and stand with its people and government,” Zarif tweeted.