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US Threatens Turkey Since S-400 Deal 'Is a Strategic Choice for Ankara' - Expert

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US State Department spokesman David Satterfield, who Trump nominated to become the next US ambassador to Turkey, said he intends to increase pressure on Ankara if he's confirmed for the post.

"If they proceed with the acquisition of the S-400, then they will not be able participate in the F-35 programme. There will be no Patriot sale. That message has been reinforced as clearly as it can be. This would be a very unwise step," Satterfield said at a Senate Foreign Affairs Committee meeting last week.

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Sputnik discussed the US official's comments with Yusuf Tunçer, a member of the governing board of the Bureau for International Relations of the Turkish left-wing non-government party Vatan (Homeland). He stressed that everything indicates that in the future, "the aggressive rhetoric of US threats against Ankara will continue and intensify."

"The people of Turkey are already very tired of the West's rhetoric and have taken the path of creating new alliances and building a new balance of power. I believe that Turkey will be able to achieve this in its relations with the countries of the region. In particular, the most urgent task for Turkey at the moment is to achieve balance in relations with Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Azerbaijan, that is, mainly with the countries of West Asia, and if you think even wider, then with China." he stressed.

"The signatures of Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who are pushing a bill in the Senate to impose sanctions on Turkey, can be seen under all the anti-Iranian bills. The US strategy, as we see, doesn't change — the same sanctions, the same threats 'to destroy the economy'. Turkey will build its strategy based on this. We have a common enemy, and this necessitates joint coordinated steps by Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. The geopolitical conditions themselves dictate this," Tusuf Tunçer explained.

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According to him, the threats and pressure of Washington against Turkey are primarily related to the fact that Ankara's decision to purchase the S-400 air defence system from Russia is its strategic choice.

READ MORE: Turkey Ready to Adjust S-400 Parameters If US Proves They're 'Threat'

"From Turkey's position, the S-400 is not only just a weapons purchase, it is a strategic choice. We do not look at this issue, based on considerations of which weapons are better or worse. The purchase of the S-400 is a strategic step for Turkey. America understands this and, therefore, has begun to put even more pressure on Turkey. Turkey will face more economic threats, crises. But our country is determined to overcome all these difficulties. In foreign policy, in particular, Turkey will be able to counter these challenges by strengthening relations with its neighbours in the region," the Turkish politician concluded.

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