Ankara will not ask for anyone’s permission to purchase S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told participants of a business forum in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.
“We made a deal with Russia on the S-400. Some are concerned about this. Sorry, but we will not ask permission from anyone," the newspaper Milliyet quoted Erdogan as saying.
Earlier, Erdogan said that the country expects to receive the SAM in the near future, despite the pressure from the US.
The legislation, adopted by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, prohibits shipments of the advanced, multi-role jet fighters to Ankara until the Pentagon delivers “an assessment of a significant change in Turkish participation in the F-35 program, including the potential elimination of such participation.”
According to The Hill, the Pentagon will have to report to Congress within 90 days about how the termination of Turkey's participation in the F-35 program could affect relations between Ankara and Washington, as well as the country's plans to acquire Russian S-400s.
Earlier, Pentagon chief Jim Mattis urged congressmen to abandon the idea of banning supplies of the F-35.
In December 2017, Turkey said it had inked an agreement with Russia for the delivery of two batteries of S-400 air defense missiles by early 2020.
Russia also agreed to provide technological know-how for the production of a new generation of Turkish air defense systems.
However, in April 2018, the two sides agreed on the early delivery of the state-of-the-art system.
Washington and its Western allies are seriously concerned about Ankara's push to buy the S-400 Triumph long-range anti-aircraft missile system with the ability to carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles, flying up to 400 kilometers (248 miles) away at an altitude of up to 30 kilometers (18.6 miles).