Mevlut Cavusoglu: Turkey may purchase additional batch of Russia's S-400 if US doesn't sell Patriot Systems

Tue 03 Sep 2019 20:14 GMT | 00:14 Local Time

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Ankara may purchase an additional batch of S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated, APA reports citing Sputnik.

"Today we need more systems until we can produce our own. And if we can buy from the United States, we will buy Patriots. If not, then we will buy more S-400s. We are an independent country", Cavusoglu said at a strategic forum in Bled.

According to the minister, Moscow and Ankara are not negotiating the purchase of Russia's Su-57 and Su-35 fighter jets at the moment.

"No. Now we are part of the F-35 program", Cavusoglu said when asked if negotiations were ongoing with the Russian side on the purchase of Su-35 and Su-57 fighters.

However, after attending the MAKS-2019 air show outside Moscow, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that negotiations on deliveries of Russian Su-57 fighters to Ankara were underway.

Prior to this, Washington announced its decision to suspend Turkey's participation in the international F-35 program over Ankara's purchase of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems, adding that the country would be completely removed from the project by late March 2020. Under the program, Turkey has ordered more than 100 F-35 fighter jets.

The United States has claimed that the S-400 systems are incompatible with NATO's air defense weapons and may compromise the operations of the F-35 fighter jets.

Despite the US pressure, Turkey has refused to reverse its contract with Russia, saying that it was a done deal, vital for its national defense and stressed that the S-400s were not related to the security of NATO, the US, or the F-35 in any way.

Moscow and Ankara signed a loan agreement to supply Russia’s S-400 air defense systems to Turkey in September 2017. Details of the agreement were not given due to the "specificity and sensitivity of the topic". Russia completed the first part of the supply of S-400 components to Turkey at the end of July 2019. The deliveries took a total of 30 special flights.

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