06:25 GMT +320 September 2019
Listen Live
    Russian servicemen stand next to a new S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile system after its deployment at a military base outside the town of Gvardeysk near Kaliningrad, Russia March 11, 2019

    Turkey Refuses to Bow to US Sanctions Over S-400 Deal

    © REUTERS / Vitaly Nevar
    World
    Get short URL
    8364
    Subscribe

    The development comes a day after acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan warned that Washington would cease its manufacturing support for F-35 fighter jets in Turkey if Ankara goes ahead with the purchase of Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile defence systems.

    Turkey will never bow to US sanctions over its deal to acquire Russian S-400 air defence systems, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Sunday.

    “When Turkey signs an agreement, Turkey keeps its promise. We signed this agreement and certain payments were made. I don’t think the arguments and concerns here have a lot to lean on”, he told local broadcaster Kanal 7.

    Oktay continued by saying that Washington’s concerns that the Russia-built systems are allegedly incompatible with NATO military equipment were unreasonable.

    The statement follows a warning by Patrick Shanahan, the acting US defence secretary, who said that if Ankara “decided that the S-400 is a decision they want to go forward with”, then the United States will stop manufacturing support for F-35 fighter jets in Turkey.

    In a parallel development, House Armed Services Committee members announced a bill to block the sale of the fifth-generation fighter jets to Turkey if it doesn’t give up on its S-400 plans.

    “Operating the S-400 alongside the F-35 would compromise the aircraft and its sensitive technology, impact interoperability among NATO allies, and most importantly pose serious risk to our shared defence and security”, Democratic Congressman John Garamendi said.

    READ MORE: Turkey Hints It May Find Russian Substitute for F-35 Jets If US Halts Deliveries

    Addressing the controversy, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara had been unable to receive air defence systems from its NATO allies for roughly 10 years, and reiterated that Russia’s systems do not jeopardise US F-35s:

    “The United States says that S-400 will increase the vulnerability of F-35 aircraft. We do not think so but let the experts express their opinion. We have proposed to create a joint commission, if they are so concerned about that. However, we have not received a response from the United States”, Cavusoglu said last month.

    The United States has on multiple occasions claimed that the S-400s are incompatible with NATO military equipment and alleged that the Russian systems pose a threat to the F-35s.

    S-400 missile systems. File photo
    © Photo : Department of information support of the Baltic region
    Ankara, in turn, has insisted that the S-400s were not connected to the security of the alliance, the US or the F-35 in any way, and the decision to acquire them “does not target a third country”.

    As Turkey has consistently refused to abandon the deal, Washington has threatened to withhold the sale of the stealth fighters to Ankara, or to slap it with sanctions under the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

    Russia and Turkey signed a $2.5 billion loan agreement for the shipment of a total of four batteries of S-400 systems in December 2017. The first delivery is set for July 2019 and will proceed as scheduled, according to Turkish officials.

    Related:

    US Issues Ultimate Warning to Turkey Amid Fears S-400 to ‘Compromise’ NATO Jets
    Pentagon Claims Turkey Won't Get F-35 If S-400 Deal Goes Through
    Erdogan Suggests Creation of Task Group on Russia's S-400 in Talk With Trump
    Russia Sends China Replacements for Storm-Damaged S-400 Missiles - Reports
    Tags:
    delivery, military equipment, sanctions, threat, air defence system, air defence, fighter jet, F-35, S-400 deal, S-400, NATO, Patrick Shanahan, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Fuat Oktay, United States, Turkey, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik