Turkish-Russian ties not an alternative to NATO, EU - minister

FILE PHOTO: A Turkish flag flies next to NATO logo at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's relations with Russia are not an alternative to its ties with NATO and the European Union, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Russia on Tuesday.

His comments came after fellow NATO member Washington sanctioned Turkey over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defences, and the EU prepared punitive steps over Turkey's dispute with members Greece and Cyprus over Mediterranean offshore rights.

(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen and Ece Toksabay; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)