U.S. 'ultimatums' over Turkey’s S-400 purchase unacceptable, says Russia
Russia on Wednesday rejected what it called "ultimatums’’ by Washington to impose sanctions on Turkey if the country moves ahead with procurement of Russian-made S-400 air-defence systems, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
"We take ultimatums extremely negatively, we consider such ultimatums unacceptable," it quoted Russian Presidential Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as telling reporters in Moscow.
Peskov said that the deal on the S-400 is already completed and in the process of being "implemented.’’
Washington has increased pressure on Ankara to cancel or postpone the deal as the expected July delivery of the S-400 in July nears. Washington has put Turkey’s F-35 operations on hold and warned Ankara’s expulsion from F-35 production and a halt to the delivery of F-35 aircraft to Turkey.
U.S. news outlet CNBC on Tuesday reported that Turkey had until early June to either cancel its acquisition of system and buy U.S.-made Patriots or risk expulsion from an advanced U.S. fighter jet program, U.S. sanctions and possible blowback from NATO.
Turkey’s defence ministry has announced that military personnel are currently receiving training in Russia for the use of the S-400 air defence system.
"We’ve sent personnel to Russia for S-400 training that will begin in the coming days and will span the following months," Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters.
Meanwhile, the United States on Wednesday announced sanctions targeting Russia’s Gatchina Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) Training Centre, where Turkish military personnel are scheduled for training on the S-400 system.