Washington is no longer willing to sell Turkey its Patriot missile defence system, Reuters cited an unnamed State Department official as saying on Friday.
“We have consistently told Turkey that our latest offer of Patriot would be off the table if it took delivery of the [Russian] S-400 system. Our Patriot offer has expired,” the official said.
The US company Raytheon, which manufactures the Patriot system, has yet to comment on the issue.
Erdogan Says US’ Patriot Offer not as Good as S-400 Deal
The US official’s remarks come after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed Ankara’s adherence to the S-400 deal, adding that the recent US offer to sell Turkey its Patriot PAC-3 air defence platform was not as good as the Russian offer.
At the same time, Erdogan said that Turkey’s discussions with the US on Patriot supplies were ongoing, and that Ankara remains ready to set up an expert working group with Washington to allay US concerns about the S-400s and the supposed threats they pose to the US's F-35 fifth-generation fighter jets.
Ankara Slams Washington's Move to Exclude Turkey From F-35 Programme
Turkish Undersecretary for Defence Industries Ismail Demir argued that Washington “has no legal basis” for excluding Ankara from the F-35 programme because Turkey fulfilled all of its obligations under this project.
The statement came in response to the earlier US announcement that Turkey would no longer be part of its F-35 programme after Ankara bought Russian S-400s and made “its continued involvement with the F-35 [programme] impossible.” Ankara called the move a mistake which it said would harm the strategic relationship between the two NATO allies.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, for his part, warned that Ankara is set to retaliate against the sanctions that Washington intends to impose on Turkey over its purchase of the Russian system.
Moscow and Ankara inked a deal on the delivery of four S-400 batteries to Turkey in December 2017. The US and NATO members have repeatedly criticised the agreement, expressing concerns over the S-400 system’s incompatibility with NATO air defences and the S-400’s ability to compromise the F-35 stealth jet project. Ankara denies the allegations, stressing that the S-400 deal will not affect its strategic relations with NATO.