ANKARA – Turkey may conclude another deal with Russia for the supply of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems if the United States ultimately refuses to supply the country with Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems. This possibility was announced on Wednesday in an interview with NTV television channel by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
“If the United States does not want to sell us the Patriot system, then tomorrow we can purchase a second S-400 complex, we can also purchase other air defense systems,” said the foreign minister.
At the same time, the minister called attempts by some countries to cast doubt on Turkey’s membership in NATO ”absurd” because of the S-400 deal.
Çavuşoğlu also recalled the proposal made during a recent trip to the United States “to create a technical working group to resolve disputes over the supply of S-400.” According to the Foreign Minister, Ankara “has not yet received a positive response.” Earlier, US Department of Defense spokesman Eric Pahon told Tass that his department was not considering the possibility of creating a similar group with Turkey.
Cavusoglu also said that Turkey could turn to any other country if the United States refuses to supply the republic with the latest fifth-generation F-35 fighter bombers.
“There are F-35s, there are Russian-made fighters. If we don’t have an F-35, then we will have to satisfy our need for fighters elsewhere. And so it will be until we start producing our own aircraft” , he said.
Turkish Foreign Minister recalled that recently, the fourth US fifth-generation F-35 fighter, intended for Turkey, was transferred to the US Air Force Base Luke in Arizona.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo warned the Turkish authorities that after the deployment of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, Ankara will no longer be able to participate in the F-35 creation and acquisition program.
In November 2016, it became known about the negotiations between Turkey and the Russian Federation on the purchase of S-400. In September 2017, Russia confirmed the conclusion of the contract, at the same time Erdogan said that the advance has already been made. The US is actively trying to prevent Turkey from buying the S-400 from Russia. Earlier, the Pentagon said that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 threatens Ankara’s continued participation in the program to create the newest F-35 American fighter-bombers.