Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday that if Turkey gets a fair proposal from NATO allies on US-made Patriot or other air defense systems, Ankara will consider it.
Turkey does not accept the language of sanctions in discussions of deliveries of Russian S-400 air defense systems with its NATO partners, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
“We discussed the subject of the S-400 with Pompeo. We told him we needed these systems.” The process for the S-400 was completed before the sanctions. Statements like ‘if you buy the S-400, we will apply sanctions’ will not work with us,” Cavusoglu said.
The statement comes after Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell said last week that Turkey could face US sanctions if it goes ahead with plans to purchase S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.
In December 2017, Russia and Turkey signed a loan agreement for the supply of S-400 systems to Ankara. According to a statement by the Turkish defense industry secretariat, Ankara acquires two batteries of this system, which will be operated and serviced by Turkish military personnel.
Russia also agreed to provide technological know-how for the production of a new generation of Turkish air defense systems.
Washington is seriously concerned about Ankara’s push to buy Russian S-400 systems.
n February, an unnamed US official told the Turkish newspaper Haberturk that this could “negatively influence the interoperability of NATO” and that the White House may introduce punitive measures in response.
The head of NATO’s cyber defense unit, Christian-Marc Liflander said that the S-400 system is not compatible with the air defense systems currently used by the alliance.
However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterating the alliance’s position regarding Turkey’s purchase of S-400 missile defense systems, saying it is “a national decision.”