Turkey Stands By Russia Missile Deal as U.S. Opposition Stiffens

(Bloomberg) -- Turkey remains committed to purchasing the advanced S-400 missile system from Russia for its own defense, the foreign minister said on Friday, condemning U.S. efforts to halt the deal.

Mevlut Cavusoglu said a bipartisan effort by U.S. senators to block the transfer of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Turkey in retaliation for the planned Russian purchase “violates international law.” He spoke at a press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

“The entire world should see that the mentality of ‘it will happen in the way I want’ isn’t valid,” Cavusoglu said, referring to the U.S. stance. “We’re committed to this agreement, there is no such thing such as selling” the missiles to a third country, he said. “We’re buying it for our own needs.”

Having balked for years at selling Turkey its Patriot missile defense system, the U.S. State Department notified Congress in December that it had proposed doing just that, a gambit designed to get Ankara to halt an agreement with Russia for S-400s, which could compromise NATO technology.

Washington has warned that it could sanction Turkey if it goes ahead with the purchase, threatening to intensify market turmoil in an echo of a diplomatic standoff last year.

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