U.S. demands Turkey to cancel S-400 deal to buy Patriots

A U.S. delegation that met with Turkish authorities in Ankara this week asked Turkish government to drop the purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems in exchange of U.S. made Patriots, Yeni Şafak newspaper reported on Saturday. 

The U.S. delegation’s offer setting the cancellation of the S-400 deal as a a prerequisite for Patriot missile defence system was expected by experts, after the U.S. State Department last month informed the U.S. Congress that it had approved a $3.5 billion sale of Patriot batteries to Turkey.

Ankara signed a contract with Moscow worth a reported $2.5 billion in December 2017 for the purchase of the S-400s despite objections from its NATO allies, who are concerned that the system could collect data on NATO jets and undermine their defences

The U.S. Congress passed legislation this year to block the sale of F-35 advanced fighter jets to Turkey should the Turkish government take delivery of the Russian missiles.

Turkey is planning to go ahead with a previously negotiated purchase of S-400 systems from Russia even if the United States decides to sell Patriot missile system, two Turkish government officials familiar with the country’s defence policy told Bloomberg  last month.