Only hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey still intended to buy a second batch of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia, Washington warned that such a move would generate fresh sanctions against its NATO ally.
“We continue to make clear to Turkey that any significant new Russian arms purchases would risk triggering CAATSA (The 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act) sanctions separate from and in addition to those imposed in December 2020,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson told Greece’s state broadcaster ERT.
“We urge Turkey at every level and opportunity not to retain the S-400 system and to refrain from purchasing any additional Russian military equipment,” the official said.
Washington says the S-400s pose a threat to its F-35 fighter jets and to NATO’s broader defence systems.
Speaking on CBS News on Sunday, Erdoğan said: “In the future, nobody will be able to interfere in terms of what kind of defence systems we acquire, from which country at what level.”
“Nobody can interfere with that. We are the only ones to make such decisions.”
(A version of this article was originally published by the Kathimerini newspaper and is reproduced by permission.)