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    Russia's S-400 air defense system. File photo

    US Repeatedly Coaxed Turkey Into Abandoning S-400 Deal - Erdogan

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    Last Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that Ankara would not "turn back" on a deal with Moscow to purchase Russian S-400 missile systems.

    Speaking to reporters at the Turkish city of Burdur on Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted that unlike the US, NATO has no objections to the supply of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to Turkey.

    He said that Washington has repeatedly "coaxed Ankara into abandoning the S-400 deal". 

    READ MORE: If Turkey Caved on S-400 Deal, Regional Crisis Would Ensue – Ex-Turkish General

    "But why should we refuse? You did not take any steps on the supply of missile systems to Turkey. And we have the right to use different systems.NATO clearly said that it would not create problems. Greece has possessed S-300 systems for many years, but you have no objections to it", Erdogan pointed out, referring to the US.

    The statement comes after the Turkish President confirmed late last week that Ankara "agreed a deal with Russia on the S-400, so for us to turn back from the deal is out of the question".

    "This is a done deal", Erdogan was quoted by the news network CNN Turk as saying.

    READ MORE: US-Turkey Row: S-400 as Bone of Contention With F-35s and Incirlik Base at Stake

    Last week, US Permanent Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said that Washington is alarmed about the S-400 deal between Moscow and Ankara. She urged Turkey not to continue the implementation of the agreement, which she said would not allow Washington "to deliver the air defence systems to Turkey which we could install there".

    Earlier, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News cited unnamed senior US officials as saying that Washington will halt the process of selling US Patriot surface-to-air missile systems to Turkey if it proceeds with the purchase of S-400s.

    Last month, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin pledged that Ankara will go ahead with the purchase of the S-400s, even if it takes the deal proposed by the United States on the delivery of Patriot systems.

    READ MORE: Erdogan's Adviser Doubts US Will Ditch F-35 Deal With Turkey Amid S-400 Row

    "From our point of view, there is no link between the purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems and US Patriot systems, these topics are not interconnected in any way. Our position remains unchanged: we will do everything that we deem necessary to ensure our national security", he underscored.

    Washington has repeatedly threatened to slap sanctions on Ankara under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) if Turkey buys the S-400s.

    The US also warned it would block the delivery of its fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighter jets to Turkey if the latter went ahead with the procurement of the Russian air defence missiles.

    Related:

    Russia to Start Deliveries of S-400 Systems to Turkey in 2019 - Rosoboronexport
    Russia to Speed Up Delivery of S-400 to Turkey Amid US Sanctions Threat
    Mattis: Turkey's Decision to Buy Russian S-400 'Concerns Us'
    Turkey Will Not Ask for Permission on S-400 Deal With Russia - Erdogan
    Tags:
    missile systems, implementation, deal, agreement, S-400, NATO, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, United States, Russia
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