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Turkey brushes off USA warning over S-400 Russian missile purchase

09 March 2019

On Thursday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed that the deal with Russia on deliveries of the S-400 air defence systems was completed, and said a new deal on purchases of advanced Russian-made S-500 systems could be possible in future.

"As for the S-400, the deal is done, and it is out of the question to go backwards.and perhaps after the S-400, we will move onto the S-500", Erdogan told Kanal-24 television on March 6.

The U.S. has issued a series of warnings to Turkey over its purchase of the S-400.

The issue has aggravated already souring relations with Ankara, including tensions over the war in Syria.

The S-400 is a sophisticated anti-missile and anti-aircraft weapon system, similar to the US Patriot. "So I would hope they would reconsider this one decision on S-400 - one system - but potentially forfeit numerous other systems and... one of the most important systems that we can provide".

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Although the US has already delivered two warplanes under an agreement to sell F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, Congress ordered a delay in future deliveries past year. "Nobody should ask us to lick up what we spat", Erdogan said.

Ankara signed an agreement with Moscow for the S-400 missile system in 2017.

Some have said the United States is concerned that the S-400 poses security risks to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project. They have warned Ankara that Turkey risked both jeopardising its purchase of Lockheed Martin F-35 jets from the U.S. and having sanctions imposed.

Ankara is slated to receive the S-400 later this year in hopes of making the system ready for use by 2020.

In late December a year ago, the U.S. State Department authorized a proposed Foreign Military Sale to Turkey for the Patriot Missile system and related support and equipment worth $3.5 billion.

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Also not surprisingly, the USA offer came with a precondition that Turkey would have to back away from the S-400s deal with Russian Federation.

The Turkish and Russian militaries are beginning joint patrols in Syria's northwestern Idlib region, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Friday.

Russian Federation has utilised the S-400 system in its military operations in Syria.

Washington fears the sophisticated radar of the S-400 system could compromise the F-35 technology, which was developed to elude Russian-made systems.

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Turkey brushes off USA warning over S-400 Russian missile purchase