Erdogan slams US over Russian missile buy sanctions

Turkey’s buy of a Russian missile-defense system was “only a pretext” for the US to impose sanctions, designed to squelch Ankara’s efforts to reduce its dependence on the American protection business, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned. “This resolution is a blatant assault on our nation’s sovereign rights,” Erdogan mentioned in Ankara on Wednesday. “This has been imposed for the primary time in opposition to us, a NATO member. What sort of an alliance is that this?” Turkey purchased the Russian S-400 missiles in 2017, saying the US was unwilling to promote equal techniques on acceptable phrases. The primary batteries have been delivered final 12 months, prompting bipartisan calls for within the US Congress for restrictive measures lengthy resisted by US President Donald Trump. Ankara could have stretched the rope too tight in October by testing the missiles in defiance of American warnings, and on Monday, the Trump-approved sanctions have been introduced. “The allegation that the S-400 techniques represent a risk to the F-35 fighter jet is only a pretext,” Erdogan mentioned. “The true intention is to dam the leaps we began in protection business and make us as soon as once more depending on them.” The Turkish chief made a degree of noting that his nation began to develop its personal protection business after the 1975-1978 US arms embargo over Cyprus considerably hampered arms acquisitions. “We’ll double efforts to make our protection business an impartial one in each sense,” he mentioned, broadcasting a video exhibiting assessments of the Hisar missile-defense system developed by state-run contractors. The sanctions reduce off Turkey’s prime protection procurement company from US monetary establishments, army {hardware} and know-how. New export licenses to switch American items or know-how to the company have been banned.