Turkey to hit back against US sanctions over Russian S-400 deal

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech at the presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey, Aug. 3, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

Turkey would retaliate if the United States imposes sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense system, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

In a meeting with foreign press in Istanbul, Erdogan urged the United States to be sensitive to sanctions against Turkey "which is a NATO member."

"Imposing sanctions on one of the most powerful members of the bloc is not acceptable," he said, stressing that Turkey would not remain silent on U.S. punitive measures.

"We will have sanctions of our own," he added.

The Turkish leader also stated that the purchase of S-400s was "a done deal" and their first delivery will be made during the first half of July to locations previously determined by the Turkish Armed Forces.

Erdogan said he would discuss the issue with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump during the G20 summit slated for late June in Japan.

Washington is reportedly halting the training of Turkish pilots of U.S. F-35 fighter jets in addition to threatening economic and other military sanctions as Ankara insists on its S-400 deal with Russia.

Turkey has paid 1.25 billion U.S. dollars so far for F-35s, Erdogan said, adding his country would appeal to an international court for a refund in case of a "false step" by Washington.

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