Turkey warned on Wednesday (10 April) that it could buy jets and additional air defense systems from Russia if it cannot get Patriot missile shields and F-35 jets from Washington, raising the prospect of ever deeper defense ties between Moscow and a NATO member.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s existing plans to buy Russian S-400 missile defences have already alarmed the United States, which says they are not compatible with NATO systems and would compromise the security of F-35 jets Turkey is due to receive.
Washington has offered Ankara both carrot and stick in response, proposing to sell it the Raytheon Co. Patriot systems instead of the S-400s, while at the same time warning of sanctions and a halt in the F-35 fighter jet sales if the Russian deal goes ahead.
Turkey has shown no sign of giving ground and Erdoğan, who held talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow this week, was quoted on Wednesday as saying the July date for delivery of the first S-400s could even be brought forward.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the delivery of Russian S-400 missile defense systems may be brought forward from July, the Sabah newspaper reported on Wednesday (10 April), sticking to a purchase which has put Turkey at odds with NATO …
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also reiterated Turkey’s stance that the S-400 purchase was a done deal and that it would meet its defence needs from elsewhere if necessary.
“If the United States is willing to sell, then we’ll buy Patriots. However, if the United States doesn’t want to sell, we may buy more S-400s or other systems,” Çavuşoğlu told Turkish broadcaster NTV.
“If the F-35s don’t work out, I will again have to procure the jets I need from elsewhere … There are (Russian) SU-34, SU-57 and others. I will absolutely meet my needs from somewhere until I can produce it myself,” he said.
Asked about Çavuşoğlu’s comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was looking for opportunities to broaden its military and technical cooperation with Turkey. “This is an absolutely normal process,” he told reporters.
‘Either F-35s or S-400s’
The F-35s stealth fighters are being built by Lockheed Martin Corp, but Turkish manufacturers are also involved in production, further complicating the fallout from any rupture between the two countries.
Çavuşoğlu also said Turkey had not yet received a positive response from Washington over its proposal to form a joint working group which Ankara says would be able to demonstrate that deploying the S-400s would not pose a threat to F-35s.
“The US F-35s fly over Syria every day and there are S-400 systems there. They pose no threats despite being systems that are completely under Russian control, so will they pose a risk when they are in Turkey’s control?” he said.
On Tuesday, leaders of the US Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees warned Turkey that it risked tough sanctions if it pursued plans to buy the S-400s.
“By the end of the year, Turkey will have either F-35 advanced fighter aircraft on its soil or a Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system. It will not have both,” Republican Senators Jim Risch and Jim Inhofe and Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Jack Reed said.
The standoff over the S-400s purchase is one of several issues straining ties between the two NATO allies. They have also disagreed on military strategy in northern Syria, Iran sanctions and the detention of local US consular staff.
Speaking to reporters on his return flight from Russia, Erdoğan said he and Çavuşoğlu were constantly being pressured to abandon it the S-400 deal.
“We answer that ‘This deal is done, everything is settled’. The delivery of the S-400 missile defence system was to be in July. Maybe it can be brought forward,” Sabah newspaper quoted Erdoğan as saying.
- What kinds of weapons has Russia admitted selling to Syria?
- Russia's Putin says American diplomats won't be expelled
- McCaul: If Turkey Coup Succeeds, U.S. Partnership With Military Must Continue
- Top official in Qatar questions the need for selling alcohol at 2022 World Cup soccer matches
- Knicks star Carmelo Anthony says free agents won’t sign with Atlanta Hawks
- Turkey: Syrian plane was carrying ammunition
- Decision 2014 redux: Ohio turkey farmers narrow down choice birds for presidential pardon
- Readers sound off on turkeys, Thanksgiving and ISIS
- Russia suggests Syria surrender chemical weapons to avoid attack
- Delaware malls won't go cold turkey on Thanksgiving Day shopping
- President Trump says he won't fire special counsel Robert Mueller: 'I'm not dismissing anybody'
- Russia increases Syria bombing as Putin vows to hunt down terrorists responsible for bombing Metrojet
- President Trump has sent private messages to Russia special counsel Robert Mueller
- Ahead of referendum, Europeans boycott Turkey and tourism suffers
- Pence hired outside counsel to help answer Russia probe questions
- Oregon AG accuses retailer GNC of selling drug-spiked dietary supplements
- After attacking AG Jeff Sessions for failing to investigate Hillary Clinton, Trump won't say if he will fire him
- What Trump's war against ISIL might look like
- Judge Nap: Special Counsel in Russia Probe May 'Close Up Shop' Without Charges
- 'Flat is the new up' for 2016 stock market, Goldman Sachs guru says
Turkey says it will look to Russia if US won't sell F-35s have 874 words, post on www.euractiv.com at April 11, 2019. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.