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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s defense minister said it was preparing for potential U.S. sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems, even while he said there was some improvement in talks with the United States over buying F-35 fighter jets.
Turkey and the United States have been at odds on several fronts including Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400s, which cannot be integrated into NATO systems. Washington says it would jeopardize Turkey’s role in building Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, which it says would be compromised by S-400s.
Washington - Ankara - Sanctions - Countering - America
While Washington has warned that Ankara faced sanctions under its Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) if it presses on with the deal, Turkey has said it expected U.S. President Donald Trump to protect it.
Speaking to reporters late on Tuesday, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkey was fulfilling its responsibilities in the F-35 project and expected the program to continue as planned. He said buying the S-400s was only meant to meet Turkey’s defense needs and posed no threats.
Agreements - Mandate - Issues - Time - Time
“We are doing whatever normal bilateral agreements mandate. Though there are some issues from time to time, we are pleased that there has been no sharp turn until now... Turkey is also making preparations for the potential implementation of CAATSA sanctions,” he said.
“In our talks with the United States, we see a general easing and rapprochement on issues including the east...
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