Ankara does not intend to comply with Washington’s demands to give up the S-400 air defense systems purchased from Russia, said Ismail Safi, a member of the Security and Foreign Policy Council of the Turkish presidential administration.
“So far there is no agreement with the United States regarding the S-400s. As a preliminary condition, they demand to give up the deployment of the complexes. But Turkey is not going to accept such a condition. I do not speak about giving up S-400 and bargaining over them, even taking into consideration the fact that we are excluded from the program of producing the latest F-35 fighters,” the spokesman said.
According to him, Turkey’s goal is to produce its own air defense systems. “For us, it’s a matter of national security. Of course, since we are in NATO, it is natural to expect that we can get what we need from our allies. But they did not pass the sincerity test, so we negotiated with Russia, and it sincerely showed us its friendship. We are continuing talks with Russia on the delivery of a new batch of S-400s,” Safi added.
Deliveries of the latest Russian S-400 air defense systems, which caused a crisis in Turkey’s relations with the United States, began in mid-July 2019. Washington demanded to back out of the deal and purchase American Patriot systems in return, threatening to delay or cancel the sale of the latest F-35 fighter jets to Turkey altogether, as well as impose sanctions under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act).
Ankara refused to make concessions and continued negotiations on an additional batch of S-400s. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, the US sanctions against Turkey over the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems demonstrate once again Washington’s inability to compete fairly.