Turkey, US dicsuss issue of purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems

Thu 13 Jun 2019 13:37 GMT | 17:37 Local Time

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Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar and Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan discussed the issue of the purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems by Turkey, according to Turkish media.

Reportedly, during a telephone conversation, Akar expressed Ankara’s displeasure about the US position regarding the delivery of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. The parties also discussed regional issues

Shanahan warned Akar that if the Turkish authorities do not refuse to buy the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, the US may impose restrictive measures against Turkey within the law on “Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act”.

Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the US and NATO specialists may visit Turkey and make sure that the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems do not pose a threat to NATO.

"Despite the US urges Turkey to abandon the purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, they do not give a guarantee that they will sell us Patriot air defense systems," he added.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stated that the US believes that Turkey would not be able to have both US F-35 fighter-bombers and Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems at the same time, as this is technically impossible.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey may receive the S-400 missile systems in July 2019, which is earlier than scheduled. He stressed that despite appeals from the US, Turkey will not abandon the purchase of the S-400.

Initial reports of negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the supply of S-400 appeared in November 2016. The signing of a contract was confirmed by the Russian side on September 12, 2017.

Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the S-400 air defense systems would be deployed from October 2019.

Turkey is the first NATO member state to receive the S-400 air defense systems from Russia.

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