Turkey says buying Russian defence system should not trigger USA sanctions

17 Avril, 2019, 18:37 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Turkish US defense chiefs hold talks in Washington

The S-400 Triumf missile systems supplied by Russian Federation will bolster security of the biggest Turkish cities, Ankara and Istanbul, the NTV channel reported quoting Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar as saying in Washington on Tuesday.

"This procurement decision does not signify a change in Turkey's course".

The contract with Russian Federation for the S-400 is not the only hindrance to the F-35 deal but also Ankara's unwillingness to make concessions to Washington in order to save the fighter jets deal, as interpretations are likely to emerge that Turkey is under pressure and has retreated.

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The statement followed Erdogan's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday, during which the Turkish leader reiterated his position that the S-400 issue was "closed".

The disagreement over the F-35 is the latest of a series of diplomatic disputes between the United States and Turkey including Turkish demands that the United States extradite Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, differences over Middle East policy and the war in Syria, and sanctions on Iran. Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that S-400s could be delivered to Turkey before July this year.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that the US believes that Turkey will not be able to have both American F-35 fighter-bombers and Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems at the same time, as this is technically impossible. However, as in the case of the S-400, Turkey may be interested not only in aircrafts, but also in their manufacturing technologies, which can accelerate the development of the aircraft industry of the Turkish military-industrial complex (MIC). "According to Pentagon sources, is not possible to launch the F-35 in the space where the S-400 is operated", he said. We are one of the investors and partners and not just a buyer. Patriot missile system rather than the S-400s from Moscow, arguing that the Russian system would be incompatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems and expose the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge. "Because we wouldn't want to have our F-35 program jeopardized in any way by the S-400 or any other system". "This offer is now on the table, we are studying it carefully", he said.

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