Turkey says buying Russian defence system should not trigger US sanctions

Vitaliy Nevar  TASS

Vitaliy Nevar TASS

This comes after Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said that during his meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington on Monday, Trump "showed a reasonable approach to [our] need to purchase the S-400" and that "it is possible that he will meet with our President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] in the near future". "We are waiting to hear from our USA colleagues and from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation", İbrahim Kalın told reporters at the Turkish embassy.

The topic of the S-400 purchase appeared in the Turkish media, where comparisons between the two machines' advantages and disadvantages immediately began.

Summers made no mention of the spat over the USA threat to halt a joint F-35 fighter jet program with Turkey if it buys Russia´s S-400 missile defense system.

The U.S. stopped shipment of "deliveries and activities" related to Turkey's procurement of the stealth fighter jet earlier this month.

US officials advised Turkey to buy the U.S.

On April 2, Shanahan said he was confident Turkey would reverse course and buy the US Patriot missile defense system instead, but Ankara has made no such commitment yet. According to him, it was expected that Turkey would receive the first supplies of S-400 missile systems in July 2019.

Excluding Turkey from the F-35 program will not punish Ankara but the entire program, said Kalin.

In addition to facing possible expulsion from the F-35 program by the U.S., Turkey is also likely to face sanctions under a 2017 sanctions law should it take delivery of the S-400 system.

And here comes the question whether Russian Federation would like to share such technologies with Turkey and Erdogan.

"We really have to address the issue of trust", he said.

Likewise, Kalın said, Turkey expects the Trump administration to extend an existing sanctions waiver that is set to expire at the end of May to allow Turkey to continue importing Iranian oil.

The disagreement over the F-35 is the latest of a series of diplomatic disputes between the United States and Turkey including Turkish demands that the United States extradite Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, differences over Middle East policy and the war in Syria, and sanctions on Iran.

Serdar Kılıç, who has served as ambassador to the USA since 2014, called on both nations to "defend, protect, and further strengthen" ties.

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