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Undeterred by US sanction threat, Turkey to buy Russian S-400 missiles

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Turkey is preparing for US sanctions after going ahead with the purchase of Russian military hardware, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Wednesday (May 22).

The White House has threatened sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which prohibits business activities with Russia's intelligence and defense industry.

US Ambassador Tina Kaidanow, who serves as acting assistant secretary of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the State Department, said in July that the White House wants US allies to understand how serious the White House is when it comes to them acquiring Russian military hardware.

"We want them to understand the downsides, the real, serious downsides to making these acquisitions, and particularly the S-400 acquisitions from the Russians, and to continue to " look to our systems and to put inter-operability and all the other things we care about first," said Kaidanow.

The United States is hoping to pressure Turkey, a NATO ally, into buying its Patriot missile battery system. However, the Turkish government has refused to back out of purchasing Russia's S-400 missile system, Akar told reporters.

"We've sent personnel to Russia for S-400 training that will begin in the coming days and will span the following months," Akar said.

Russia condemns

Russia has condemned US ultimatum to Turkey designed to force it to cancel the deal to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and purchase American Patriot batteries instead, calling it "unacceptable".

Moscow on Wednesday was responding to a report by CNBC that said Washington had given Turkey two weeks to scrap the Russian arms deal and do one with the United States instead or risk severe penalties.

"We regard this extremely negatively," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked about the CNBC report by reporters.

"We consider such ultimatums to be unacceptable and we are going on the many statements made by representatives of Turkey's leadership - headed by President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan - that the S-400 deal is already complete and will be implemented."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said the S-400 deal with Russia was done and wouldn't change. "There is absolutely no question of [Turkey] taking a step back from the S-400 purchase. That is a done deal," Erdogan said adding:

"Turkey and Russia would jointly produce S-500 defense systems after Ankara's purchase of the S-400s from Moscow."

US-Turkey ties

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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