US sanctions harm alliance with Turkey: Defence Minister

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday that the US sanctions against Turkey over its procurement of Russian-made S-400 defense systems undermine the values of the alliance between the two NATO allies.

“We condemn this decision, which does not comply with the alliance, current military, or political realities,” the semi-official Anadolu Agency quoted the minister as saying.

“These sanctions have undermined all the values of the alliance between our countries. However, efforts to ensure the defense and security of our country and our noble nation will continue with determination,” Akar said.

Ismail Demir, president of Turkey’s Defense Industries, said the Turkish government is determined to have an independent indigenous defense industry as the US sanctions serve as a warning to Turkey to enhance its capacity.

He told reporters following budget discussions in parliament that the development of the domestic defense industry will continue, perhaps even faster.

On Monday, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against Turkey over its purchase of a Russian-made S-400 defense system.

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