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Apr 12 2019

U.S pressures Turkey over independent policy on S-400s - Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday said the United States was putting pressure on Turkey over its purchase of a Russian defence system with similar methods it had used to make other countries fall in line with its policy, Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

"The situation with threats against NATO member Turkey for Ankara's decision to strengthen its defence capacity by purchasing Russian S-400s is an example, there are many others," Lavrov said in a speech at the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow.

The Russian minister said Washington forces countries to act accordingly to its policy. The United States uses pressure not only against "countries who pursue independent policies" but also against "its closest allies" Lavrov said, according to Anadolu.

The United States has repeatedly objected Turkey's decision to buy Russian air defence systems, and last week halted delivery of parts and services for F-35 fighter jets.

According to Washington, Ankara cannot have both the American fighter jets and Russian defence systems on grounds that it would be compromising on the security of the systems. It has been persuading its NATO-ally Turkey to buy Raytheon's Patriot defence systems instead.

Ankara has responded that it started seeking other sellers after the United States refused to sell Patriots, adding that Russia offered Turkey a better deal that includes technology transfers.