Turkey says S-400 procurement 'done deal'

TEHRAN, May 11 (MNA) – Turkey on May 10 denied a German newspaper report claiming that Turkey will no longer buy the S-400 air defense systems from Russia.

Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said the S-400 procurement was a "done deal."

“Dear Julian, your sources are mistaken. Take it from me: The S-400 procurement is a done deal,” Altun tweeted, responding to claims by Julian Ropcke, editor in chief for foreign policy, at tabloid Bild according to Hurriyet Daily.

Earlier on May 10, Ropkce tweeted: “Diplomatic sources tell Bild, Erdoğan will not buy the S-400 from Russia.”

Tensions between the US and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile system.

Washington maintains the move will jeopardize Turkey's role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger congressional sanctions.

Turkey decided in 2017 to purchase the S-400 system following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success. 

Earlier in April, Turkey's foreign minister announced that if the US refuses to sell Patriot missiles to Turkey, it could buy more Russian S-400 missiles or other air defense systems.

According to Anadolu, Mevlut Cavusoglu hit back at US criticisms of the S-400 purchase, saying that some NATO countries already have earlier generation S-300 missiles but this does not conflict with their NATO membership.

"If the US refuses to sell us Patriots, tomorrow we could buy a second S-400, or another air defense system," he said.

Rebuffing US threats to cancel a deal for F-35 jets if the S-400s are delivered, Cavusoglu said in the absence of F-35s, Turkey could buy fighters jets from another source until it is able to produce its own.

Washington has balked at Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system, and suspended delivery of parts and services for the F-35s.

US officials suggested Turkey buy the US Patriot missile system rather than the S-400, arguing it is incompatible with NATO systems and would expose the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge.

Turkey responded that it was the US refusal to sell it Patriots that led it to seek other sellers, adding that Russia offered it a better deal, including technology transfers.

MNA/PR

News Code 145123

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