Russia, Turkey to develop military ties despite US sanctions

Russia, Turkey to develop military ties despite US sanctions

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Moscow: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said on Tuesday that military cooperation between Moscow and Ankara will not prevent it from acquiring Russia’s missile defense system due to US sanctions on Turkey.

Washington earlier this month punished Turkey for buying Russia s S-400 air defence system, imposing rare sanctions against a NATO ally.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the time assured Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu that the American sanctions were intended to prevent Russia from receiving substantial revenues from the sale.

On Tuesday Cavusoglu visited Moscow for talks with his counterpart Lavrov, who told reporters that, “we have confirmed our mutual intention to develop military ties with Turkey”.

He added that President Vladimir Putin appreciated Turkey s determination to “continue cooperation in this area despite continuing illegitimate pressure from Washington.”

Russia delivered the S-400 system to Ankara last year, ignoring warnings of incompatibility with Turkey’s NATO alliance.

Although Russia and Turkey have been rivals in several conflicts including Libya and Syria, Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have maintained a good relationship.

After the six-week war between Armenia and Azerbaijan claimed more than 6,000 lives, the two countries are jointly monitoring Russia’s truce in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

But tensions between the two had risen over Nagorno-Karabakh while the fighting was ongoing, with Russia accusing Turkey of deploying Syrian fighters to combat Armenian forces in the contested region.

Earlier this month, Turkish police briefly arrested two Russian journalists in Istanbul because they were suspected of filming drone production devices without permission.

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