Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu

The Turkish government says it will take reciprocal steps if the United States imposes sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 defence systems.

The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu stated this on Friday, marking the latest step toward a standoff between the NATO allies.

“If the United States takes any negative actions towards us, we will also take reciprocal steps,” Cavusoglu said when asked about possible US sanctions in an interview which was broadcast on Turkish Television.

“We are determined on the S-400 issue. No matter what the results will be, we will not take a step back,” Cavusoglu added, stressing that it was impossible to cancel the order.

Ankara and Washington have sparred publicly for months over Turkey’s purchase of the missile systems which are expected to be delivered as early as next month.

Washington has said that the purchase would trigger US sanctions and sent a letter to the Turkish government, warning that Ankara would be pulled out of the F-35 jet programme.

The S-400s are not compatible with NATO’s defence systems and Washington says they would compromise its F-35s, which Turkey also plans to buy.

Turkey has proposed that the allies form a working group to asses the impact of the S-400s but has yet to receive a response from the United States government.