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Pompeo: ‘Sanctions on Turkey aim to prevent Russia's influence, not undermine Ankara's military capabilities’ 

December 19, 2020 at 11:38 am

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. [NICHOLAS KAMM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed that the aim of the sanctions on Turkey is to prevent Russia from gaining influence and not to undermine Ankara’s military capabilities. Pompeo considers that the acquisition of the S-400 missile system: “Allows Russia to access Turkish forces and their defensive industries.”

This came in a statement issued by the US State Department on Thursday, in which it disclosed that Pompeo discussed with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu the US sanctions resulting from Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile systems.

The statement announced that Pompeo made it clear to Cavusoglu that: “Turkey’s purchase of this defence system threatens the security of persons and US military technology.” Pompeo called on Turkey to solve the issue of the advanced missile system: “In a manner that commensurates with decades of defence cooperation between Washington and Ankara.”

On Friday, the Turkish foreign minister stated that Ankara would not back down from purchasing the Russian S-400 system, and would take steps to respond after assessing the sanctions.

In press statements, Cavusoglu asserted that imposing the sanctions was a wrong decision from a legal and political point of view, while considering this step an attack on the sovereign rights of Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed that the US sanctions encroach on his country’s sovereign rights and aim to harm its defence industries, stressing that Turkey will accelerate its steps in the defence field to reach global leadership.

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