Osaka: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday he was confident there would be no US sanctions against Turkey over a controversial Russian missile deal, following reassurances from leader Donald Trump at the G20 summit.
Ankara’s push to buy Moscow’s S-400 missile defence system has strained ties between the Nato allies, with the threat of penalties from Washington looming over Turkey.
“We heard from him that there won’t be anything like this (sanctions),” Erdogan told a press conference, after meeting with the US president on the sidelines of the summit in Osaka, Japan.
While Erdogan insisted Turkey and the United States were “strategic partners”, he said that “no one has the power to intervene in Turkey’s sovereignty”.
His office said Trump wished to resolve the S-400 issue “without damaging bilateral ties”.
Before the talks, Trump said Turkey “has been a friend of ours... We’re a big trading partner. We’re going to be much bigger.”
Despite heavy pressure from Washington to cancel the purchase, Erdogan has repeatedly said it was a “done deal” and reaffirmed on Saturday that delivery of the system would begin in the first half of July.
Experts say sanctions would hit Ankara’s already fragile economy hard. Tariffs imposed by Trump last summer over the jailing of a US pastor helped trigger a currency crisis.