Mar 28 2018

Turkey to press ahead with S-400 deal despite threats

Turkey is expected to press ahead with the purchase of S-400 missiles from Russia despite veiled threats from the United States, Sputnik reported.

Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said Ankara’s purchase of the S-400s would not affect delivery of F-35 stealth fighters from the United States.

"The agreement [on the S-400s] has been signed, and all the nuances have been discussed. The deal is done. Commercial agreements on this issue have been reached, and we have fully fulfilled all our obligations," Canikli said, according to Sputnik.

Turkey expects to take delivery of the first F35s within a year, while the first S-400s aren’t due until early 2020. Turkey has ordered 30 F-35s and plans to purchase 70 more.

Volkan Bozkir, chairman of the Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs committee, however said that Congress may prohibit delivery of the F-35s, citing conversations with the advisers of some Senators.

Turkey is prepared to consider a proposal for the delivery of U.S. Patriot missile systems – an offer is expected to be made by U.S. officials this week during a visit to Ankara – but it will need to meet Turkish requests of technology transfer, Bozkir said. Turkey will consider the offer should the U.S. meet Turkish demands at an attractive price, he said.