Russia says U.S. sanctions on Turkey will not hurt military cooperation

U.S. sanctions imposed on Turkey for its acquisition of S-400 missiles will not deter Russia and Turkey from maintaining cooperation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Relations between the two countries “are self-sustainable and self-sufficient, they don’t depend on someone’s aggressive and hostile actions and whims”, Lavrov said on Tuesday, according to news network Al Jazeera.

“They (relations) are based on the national interests of each of our countries and on our determination to continue mutual cooperation and mutual benefit by searching for a balance of interests,” Lavrov said after talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Moscow.

U.S. President Donald Trump approved sanctions on NATO member Turkey earlier this month after Ankara took delivery of the air defence missiles and then tested them. The measures were restricted to barring export licenses for Turkey’s defence procurement agency and imposing travel bans and asset freezes on its senior officials.

Çavuşoğlu said the U.S. sanctions were “an act of aggression against our country’s sovereign rights”. Ankara would not give in to pressure, he said.

“We prefer to solve all issues including that of the S-400 through negotiations,” Çavuşoğlu said. “After introducing the sanctions, the U.S. announced it favours dialogue. We’ve never been against dialogue.”
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