'US sanctions wo't affect army, Turkish defense sector'

New US sanctions will leave most of Turkey unaffected, including the National Defense Ministry, Turkish Armed Forces, and defense companies, the head of the Turkey’s Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) said on Thursday.

Speaking at Anadolu Agency's Editor's Desk, Ismail Demir said the sanctions only target his government agency, but will not affect existing agreements that were already signed.

The sanctions were not imposed on the country, but only a single institution in Turkey and four people, he underlined.

Criticizing the sanctions, he said they were imposed by the US because under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s leadership, Turkey refused to “bow down to orders”

The US on Monday imposed sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

The sanctions, coming under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), target the SSB, including Demir and three other officials.

Demir stressed: "The S-400 air defense system bought by Turkey is the best in its class."

He also highlighted that the US sanctions will not create obstacles for Turkey, but rather will boost its determination.

In April 2017, when its protracted efforts to buy an air defense system from the US proved fruitless, Turkey signed a contract with Russia to acquire the S-400 shield.

US officials have voiced opposition to their deployment, claiming they would be incompatible with NATO systems and would expose next-generation F-35 jets to possible Russian subterfuge.

Turkey, however, stressed that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems, and pose no threat to the alliance or its armaments.

It has repeatedly urged a working group to clear up the technical compatibility issues.

Source: AA

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