Turkish diplomat refutes reports on US S-400 ultimatum
23 Mai, 2019, 14:55 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
Turkey's defence minister has said the country is preparing for potential U.S. sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems.
"We need to set up an air defence system to protect our 82 million people and our country", Akar said, stressing that Turkey was under threat of air and missile attacks from Syrian borders.
"We are sure that this [working group] will dispel America's concerns and render discussions on the S-400 system will jeopardize F-35's presence pointless", Kıran said.
Kiran speaking in Washington on Wednesday, also noted that Ankara opposed the American sanctions under the "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act".
Ankara has rejected news reports that the United States has set an official deadline for Turkey to pull out from the S-400 deal with Russian Federation by the end of the first week of June, according to Turkish TV channel A Haber.
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In December 2017, Moscow and Ankara signed a loan agreement for the delivery of S-400 air defence systems to Turkey.
A group of US Congressmen, representing both the Democrats and the Republicans, on May 16 submitted for consideration of several committees of the US House of Representatives a resolution calling for sanctions against Ankara under CAATSA and also removing Turkey from the program on creating the advanced US fighter-bomber F-35 in case of the S-400 purchase.
Akar, according to Anadolu, emphasised that the F-35 fighter jet was developed under an ongoing joint project, noting that Turkey had military personnel in the U.S. to receive training and for the planes' maintenance.
The first batch of S-400s is expected to be delivered to Turkey in July. It is created to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and can also be used against ground installations.
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