January 23
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Russia regards US statements on possible sanctions against Turkey for the purchase of S-400 air defense missile systems as blackmail in favor of American companies, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Austrian counterpart Karin Kneissl on Friday, TASS reported.

"The statement by Mr. Mitchell [US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell] that Ankara risks falling under sanctions if it purchases S-400 systems from Russia, is exactly an example of a blackmailing attempt in the hope that it will be possible to ensure unfair competition for American companies," Lavrov said.

Competition in the arms export "existed, exists and will always be," he said.

‘What is important is that certain principles should be observed in this trade, first of all, the non-delivery of destabilizing armaments, the refusal to deliver weapons to non-state entities and that competition should be fair and unblemished and not based on illegally obtained advantages of unilateral sanctions," the Russian foreign minister stressed.


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