Will continue to develop military ties with Turkey despite illegitimate pressure from US: Russia

WION Web Team
Moscow Published: Dec 29, 2020, 05:16 PM(IST)

File photo: A Russian serviceman walks past S-400 missile air defence systems in Tverskaya Street before a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in central Moscow, Russia April 29, 2019.  Photograph:( Reuters )

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The United States banned all US export licenses and loan credits for Turkey's military procurement agency and disallowed its president to travel or hold assets in the United States under the 2017 CAATSA law.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said today that his country will develop military ties with Turkey despite US sanctions.

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Lavrov on Tuesday hosted Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Sochi as the two countries sought to expand cooperation in commerce, energy, culture and tourism.

"Today we'll also evaluate how we can improve our cooperation on the regional issues that you've already outlined," Turkey's foreign minister Cavusoglu said.

"We have confirmed our mutual intention to develop military ties with Turkey. We appreciate as President Putin has repeatedly stressed, the attitude of our Turkish colleagues towards further interaction in this field, despite continued illegitimate pressure from Washington."

The United States had imposed sanctions on Turkey for buying the Russian S-400 missile defense system. The United States banned all US export licenses and loan credits for Turkey's military procurement agency and disallowed its president to travel or hold assets in the United States under the 2017 CAATSA law.

State Department spokesperson Cale Brown said: "Sanctions imposed over the S-400 system are not intended to undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of Turkey or any other US Ally or partner." The United States sought to ally fears that the move was not intended to weaken Turkey's military prowess as Pompeo said the "goal of the sanctions is to prevent Russia from receiving substantial revenue, access, and influence".

"Urged Turkey to resolve the S-400 issue in a manner consistent with our decades-long history of defense-sector cooperation and to re-commit itself to its NATO obligations to purchase NATO-interoperable weaponry," Pompeo said.

Erdogan denounced the US move calling it "an open attack on our sovereignty."

The United States had earlier barred Turkey from acquiring the F-35 fighter jets and disallowed it from developing its parts.

"The more Turkey grows, the more Turkey inches closer to its goals, the more it stands up for its sovereign rights, the more it is subjected to attacks," Erdogan said.

"Because we met our needs somewhere else, they pulled the sanctions trigger."

"To make our defence industry-independent, we will work twice as hard, we will accelerate our defence industry agency's projects, we will give more support to our defence-related companies," Erdogan added.

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