April 28, 2021 – 23:36
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned Turkey and all US allies to refrain from buying Russian weapons, as they could face more US sanctions.
Tensions between the US and Turkey have escalated on a number of issues, ranging from Ankara’s purchase of Russian missile defense systems, then human rights and the recognition of the Armenian genocide by US President Joe Biden.
Last year, Washington suspended Turkey from its F-35 covert fighter jet program.
Ankara signed the agreement with Moscow in 2017, justifying the acquisition with its security needs. Turkish officials have said Russian systems will not be integrated into NATO defense infrastructure.
Deliveries of the first four missile batteries, from Russia to Turkey, began in July 2019.
Blinken also said that the recognition as genocide of the massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, should not be surprising given the widely known views of President Biden.
Turkey’s presidential spokesman said on Sunday that Biden’s statement was “merely offensive” and that Turkey would respond in the coming months. / rel