Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Turkey won't bow to U.S. 'ultimatums' on Russian Federation missile system

US letter 'not in line with spirit of alliance': Turkey Turkey already bought Russian S-400 systems – Erdogan
Patty Aguilar | 13 June, 2019, 22:20

Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Thursday he spoke on the phone with President Donald Trump's national security advisor John Bolton to discuss a letter sent by the Pentagon about Ankara's removal from the F-35 jets program.

Turkey has already purchased S-400 defence systems from Russian Federation and hopes they will be delivered in July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, an announcement likely to ratchet up tensions with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Washington.

Erdogan has resisted US pressure to back out of the Russian purchase, saying it is a done deal and has dismissed suggestions it is a threat to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems. "I hope these systems will be delivered to our country next month", Erdogan said.

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart that explained the measures to remove Turkey from the program unless Ankara changes course.

In what has become a major point of disagreement between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, the United States has long pushed Turkey to stop its purchase of the Russian S-400s, saying the system would compromise the F-35s.

Washington has suggested that Ankara instead purchase the USA -made Patriot air-defense system.

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Tensions between the USA and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 Russian surface-to-air missile defence system which Washington said will jeopardise Turkey's role in the US F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger congressional sanctions. He noted that Turkey is also a manufacturing partner in the programme.

Earlier this month, Erdogan said Turkey had also been discussing a United States offer to sell Patriot missiles.

"Did we ask for such a defense system from America?"

"We have so far paid $1.250 million", he said.

They did not say how long the ceasefire would last.

Turkey has repeatedly proposed a joint-working group to assess the impact of the S-400 deal, but Washington has not yet taken up the suggestion.

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