Wednesday, 19 June 2019
Latest news
Main » Turkey confirms Russian Federation S-400 missile deal, ignores USA warning

Turkey confirms Russian Federation S-400 missile deal, ignores USA warning

13 June 2019

The air defense system would be delivered to Turkey in July, the president added.

Turkey on Wednesday criticised a letter from Washington on Ankara's eventual removal from the F-35 fighter jet programme, saying the language used did not suit the spirit of alliance between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

During Wednesday's meeting, Erdogan said Turkey will "hold to account" anyone who excludes Turkey from the F-35 programme "due to reasons without reason or legitimacy".

Ankara has already bought a Russian anti-aircraft missile system, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his AK party members on Wednesday.

Writing to Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar last week, US acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan outlined how Turkey would be pulled out of the F-35 programme unless Ankara changes course from its plans to purchase the Russian S-400 missile defence system.

Erdogan is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump on the margins of Group of 20 (G20) summit in Japan on June 28-29, but the Turkish leader said he will speak to the USA president by phone on June 13.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday at a news conference with his French counterpart, Cavusoglu said the Pentagon chief's letter will not make Turkey back down on the S-400s, and repeated Ankara's call to create a working group, with Russian participation, to address any USA concerns over the Russian air defence system.

Another senior United States official, Under Secretary of Defence Ellen Lord, told reporters that the United States did not want Russian technicians to be able to access the F-35's vulnerabilities.

Ankara has been infuriated by US support for the YPG, which it considers a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey for more than three decades.

Turkey has criticised the letter from Washington and said it did not live up to the spirit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance. It is working on a response to be sent in the coming days, according to Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar.

Earlier this month, Erdogan said Turkey had also been discussing a USA offer to sell Patriot missiles.

He noted that Ankara and Moscow signed the deal with a pledge for a reasonable price and future joint production.

"However, unfortunately, the USA side has not given us an offer as good as the S-400s", he said.

"This is not an attack system but a defense system".

"Did we ask for such a defense system from America?"

The US has also threatened to hit Turkey with sanctions if it goes ahead with the deal. Yes, we did. Did they deliver?

Turkey confirms Russian Federation S-400 missile deal, ignores USA warning