ANKARA, TURKEY - Turkey's foreign minister says his country will retaliate against any possible U.S. sanctions over its deal with Russia for the purchase of the S-400 missile defense system.
Defending Ankara's purchase, Mevlut Cavusoglu told state-run Anadolu Agency on Friday that Turkey can choose its defense equipment as "an independent and free" country.
The leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees warned Turkey on Tuesday that it risked tough sanctions if it pursued plans to purchase Russian S-400 missile defense systems, and they threatened further legislative action.
"By the end of the year, Turkey will have either F-35 advanced fighter aircraft on its soil or a Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system. It will not have both," Republican Senators Jim Risch and Jim Inhofe and Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Jack Reed said in a New York Times opinion column.
The deal with Russia has soured relations between the two NATO allies.
The United States says the S-400s are a threat to its F-35 fighter jet program and has told Turkey it would be excluded from that program. It has also warned Turkey of possible sanctions if it takes delivery of the Russian system.
Cavusoglu said Turkey "has counter-steps to take" should the U.S. impose sanctions.