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Turkey’s Foreign Minister Says ‘We Will Retaliate If Trump Imposes Sanctions Over S-400s’

Turkey would revenge against what it called an unacceptable threat of the U.S. sanctions over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400…

By Brooks Schroth , in Defense News , at July 22, 2019 8:39 AM EDT Tags: , ,

Turkey would revenge against what it called an unacceptable threat of the U.S. sanctions over Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defenses, its foreign minister said on Monday, adding he thinks President Donald Trump desires to keep away from such moves.

Turkey started receiving shipments of the surface-to-air S-400 systems earlier in July, prompting America to begin eradicating the NATO associate from its F-35 stealth fighter program over security issues.

“If America portrays an adversarial attitude in our direction, we are going to take retaliatory steps, as we’ve told them. This isn’t a threat or a bluff,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated in an interview.

Cavusoglu added that he didn’t expect the U.S. government to take such action.

Last week, the US declared that it was beginning the process of eradicating Turkey from the program for the F-35 stealth jets, the most superior aircraft in the U.S. arsenal, which is utilized by NATO and other partner nations.

Turkey, like other companions in the F-35 program, was part of the production supply chain for the high-tech jet, producing some 900 components. A U.S. official said it would cost between $500 million to $600 million to move F-35 manufacturing from Turkey.

Separately, the TASS news agency cited Sergei Chemezov, chief of Russia’s Rostec state conglomerate, as saying that Turkey and Russia were talking about the potential for jointly making some parts of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system in Turkey.