Turkey unafraid of US sanctions over S-400 deal: Foreign minister

A Russian serviceman walks past S-400 missile air defence systems before a parade marking the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in central Moscow, Russia April 29, 2019. (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 24 June 2019

Turkey unafraid of US sanctions over S-400 deal: Foreign minister

  • US has given Turkey a deadline of July 31 to drop the purchase
  • Relations between Washington and Ankara have deteriorated over multiple issues

ANKARA: Turkey said Monday it does not fear US sanctions over its decision to buy a Russian missile defense system that has frayed ties between the NATO allies.
The US has given Turkey a deadline of July 31 to drop the purchase of the S-400 system, or face sanctions and removal from its F-35 fighter jet program.
“Regardless of whatever sanctions there may be, whatever the messages from America, we’ve bought the S-400,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.
He said Turkey was working on the date for the system’s delivery, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said would be in the first half of July.
“If there’s an attack on Turkey tomorrow, we cannot expect NATO to protect us because NATO’s capacity would only protect 30 percent of Turkey’s airspace,” Cavusoglu said.
Turkey will no longer allow other countries to dictate its defense purchases, he said.
Relations between Washington and Ankara have deteriorated over multiple issues, including the S-400 deal and US support for a Syrian Kurdish militia viewed as terrorists by Turkey.
Sanctions could cause damage at a time when Turkey’s economy is already struggling.
Its currency lost a third of its value last year, in part due to temporary US sanctions over the detention of an American pastor.
Turkey has plans to buy 100 F-35s, and has lucrative contracts to build parts of the jet.
Erdogan said last week he would use his “good” relationship with US counterpart Donald Trump to defuse the crisis when they meet at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan this week.


Lebanon not planning to negotiate with Iran on fuel imports -minister

Updated 8 min 31 sec ago

Lebanon not planning to negotiate with Iran on fuel imports -minister

BEIRUT: Lebanon currently has no plan to negotiate with Iran for the import of fuel, energy minister Raymond GHajjar said on Thursday, after the leader of the Tehran-backed Hezbollah group said it was talking to the Lebanese government about the idea.
Hezbollah’s Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Tuesday a “calm discussion” was underway with the government over the idea of Lebanon buying refined products from Iran in Lebanese pounds, easing the pressure on Beirut’s hard currency reserves.
Lebanon is suffering an acute financial crisis and hard currency liquidity crunch. The Lebanese pound has lost some 80% of its value since October, when the long-brewing crisis came to a head.
“There is no plan to negotiate with Iran at present about importing fuel and the current discussion is with Iraq,” GHajjar said, referring to talks with the Iraqi government over possible fuel supplies.
Referring to Nasrallah’s comments, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday taking oil from Iran would be unacceptable. “It would be sanctioned product for sure, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure that Iran cannot continue to sell crude oil anywhere, including to Hezballah in the region...,” he said.