MOSCOW, the Russian Federation (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Following the U.S. warnings to Turkey that the purchase of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems threatens the transfer of the F-35 stealth fighter to Ankara, on Tuesday, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in response that the deal with Russia is “a done deal”, which cannot be cancelled. This was reported by Reuters and the Russian news agencies, which informed about the held on Tuesday meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
After stating to the reporters, following the meeting, that he cannot cancel the S-400 deal with Russia, Cavusoglu also pointed out that a further defense procurement is needed by Turkey and this time it could be concluded with the U.S. He said: “But I need more … and I prefer to buy from my allies.”
During their previous talks in April, the Foreign Minister of Turkey was warned again by his interlocutor Mike Pompeo about the consequences and the sanctions to which the conclusion of such a deal could lead. Then, the U.S. Secretary of State reminded Cavusoglu that the S-400 system, radars, and missile batteries cannot be integrated with the ones used by the NATO Allies and asked him to closely consider NATO interoperable systems.
The U.S. officials have also warned Turkey that if it goes ahead with the plan to acquire the Russian S-400 system, in turn, the U.S., could delay the transfer of F-35 jets to Turkey. Additionally the US Congress also passed legislation that would block it.
The U.S. has for years offered Turkey an alternative missile defense system – the Patriot missile defense system built by Raytheon Co and operated by other NATO allies.
Today, the Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, confirmed that the first batch of Russian S-400 air defense systems will be delivered to Turkey by the end of 2019, when and the process of joint production will begin, at the same time he expressed Turkey’s readiness to consider and a good proposal for acquiring US systems Patriot. During today’s conference Ibrahim Kalin stated: “But Turkey never relies on the sole proposal it has. Should we come to terms with the United States over the Patriot system, get a good proposal and agree on joint production, then we will accept it. We really need these systems, and if we get a good offer not only on deliveries but on joint production as well, we will accept it. Turkey is not a country that relies on just one alternative,” adding that the S-400 deliveries should be regarded from this point of view.
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Sources: Sputniknews, Reuters