Erdogan says US May Not Impose Sanctions on Turkey over Russian Missiles

Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (File photo)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that the U.S. will not impose sanctions on Turkey over the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system because U.S. President Donald Trump said Turkey had not been treated fairly in regards to the contract.

The two leaders met during the G-20 meeting in Osaka, Japan and discussed the issue. Until now, the U.S. was warning Turkey that the procurement of the Russian missile defense system is a breach to the NATO allegiance, thereby sanctions could be imposed.

Relations between the two countries have been strained as of late because of Erdogan’s insistence on procuring the missile system, which is due to be delivered in the first half of July.

However, the U.S. president spoke with the Turkish president on Saturday and allegedly said that no sanctions will be imposed on Turkey, according to a Reuters report, quoting Erdogan.

“We have heard from him personally that this (sanctions) would not happen,” Erdogan said. “We are strategic partners with the United States. As strategic partners, nobody has the right to meddle in Turkey’s sovereign rights. Everyone should know this.”

When asked, Trump said that the two sides evaluate “different solutions”.

According to the Reuters report, Turkey had put its hopes on the relationship between Erdogan and Trump, saying it expected the U.S. president to block possible sanctions over the S-400 deal.

Also, Turkey is expecting to buy a batch of F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. co-produced by Turkey, for which has made a $1.4 billion payment so far.

“As joint producers, until now four F-35 jets have been delivered to us, but we will still receive… a total of 116 jets. We are expecting these,” Erdogan said.