Erdogan says 'no backtrack' on Russian Federation missile deal

Vitaly Nevar  TASS

Speaking at a news conference Ankara, Cavusoglu said partner nations in the F-35 jet program do not support the steps taken by the United States to halt pilot training.

Tensions between the US and Turkey have escalated in recent months with Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 Russian surface-to-air missile defense system, which Washington said will jeopardize Turkey's role in the F-35 program and could trigger sanctions.

The US envoy to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said Tuesday that Turkey will be axed from the high-tech F-35 fighter jet program if it goes ahead with plans to buy Russian S-400 air defense missiles.

Turkey has plans to buy 100 American-made F-35 fighter jets, and has lucrative contracts to build parts for the jet.

The United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have repeatedly complained about the purchase, saying the S-400 is not compatible with other allied systems and represents a security threat, particularly to the F-35.

"The issue of S-400 is an issue directly related to our sovereignty and we will not backtrack from that", Erdogan said in a televised speech. The USA also warned Turkey that it would not get the four F-35 jets it bought due to the sanctions related to S-400 deal with Russian Federation.

Russian Federation has also said it planned to deliver its S-400s to Turkey in July.

"In order to meet its security needs, Turkey... does not need to get permission, let alone bow to pressure".

"No matter what sanctions decision, no matter which statement comes from the USA, we have already bought the S-400", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara on Monday on the sidelines of a bilateral meeting with his Rwandan counterpart.

"Regardless of whatever sanctions there may be, whatever the messages from America, we've bought the S-400", Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in the capital. Patriot missile system rather than the S-400s from Moscow, arguing the Russian system would be incompatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems and expose the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge.



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