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    S-400 missile systems

    Erdogan on S-400 Deal: ‘No Backward Steps’ on the Issue Despite US Protests

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    Earlier this month, the Turkish President pointed out that the S-400 missile systems that Ankara is buying are not connected to the security of NATO, the United States or the F-35 purchase agreement in any way.

    Ankara will remain committed to the deal on buying Russian S-400 missile systems despite Washington’s opposition, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the Turkish news network TGRT.

    “There will be no backward steps on the S-400 issue. As for the Patriot [missile systems], if the US offers us acceptable conditions, we are open for them too,” Erdogan stressed.

    READ MORE: 'Big Problem': Bolton Blasts Turkey's Refusal to Abandon S-400 Deal With Russia

    His remarks came a few weeks after he rejected the Pentagon's ultimatum on Ankara's purchase of the S-400s.

    “The S-400s we're buying are not connected to the security of NATO, the United States or the F-35 in any way,” Erdogan said, adding that “the reasons for our purchase of these systems are obvious”.

    He voiced hope that the problems in relations between Turkey and the US over Ankara's purchase of the Russian air defence system could “be resolved in the same way as it has on other issues”.

    READ MORE: US Crossing Line With Remarks on Turkey's S-400 Purchase — Erdogan's AK Party

    Also this month, Erdogan confirmed that the signatures had already been made on the Russia-Turkey deal for the S-400 supplies and that the first delivery will be made in July.

    “This is over”, he said, adding that his government will not cancel the deal, despite protests from Washington.

    The statement followed comments by US Department of Defence spokesperson Charlie Summers that “there would be grave consequences” in terms of the US-Turkish military relationship, as well as the Patriot interceptors and the F-35 fighter jets if Ankara went ahead with the purchase of the S-400s.

    READ MORE: S-400 Purchase Doesn't Mean Ankara Has Rejected US' Patriots – Turkish VP

    "They will not get the F-35s if they take the S-400," Summers warned.

    Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, for his part, said that Ankara was expecting the delivery of the F-35s in November despite Washington’s criticism of Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400s.

    Russia and Turkey inked a $2.5 billion contract for the sale of four S-400 batteries in late 2017, with Ankara set to become the fourth country to possess the system after Russia itself, Belarus and China.

    Related:

    US Team to Visit Turkey to 'Express Specific Concerns' Over S-400 Deal - Reports
    Turkey to Purchase Russian S-400 Regardless of Potential Patriot Deal With US
    Turkey Rejects US Patriot Offer Amid Row Over Russian S-400 - Reports
    Pentagon Recommends Not to Transfer F-35 to Turkey if Ankara Buys Russian S-400
    Tags:
    security, deal, S-400, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, United States, Russia, Turkey
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