Russian S-400 missile defence systems. File photo/ Reuters
President Tayyip Erdogan said the delivery of Russian S-400 missile defence systems may be brought forward from July, the Sabah newspaper reported on Wednesday, sticking to a purchase which has put Turkey at odds with NATO ally the United States.
The S-400s are not compatible with NATO systems and Washington says Turkey's purchase of them would compromise the security of F-35 fighter jets, which are built by Lockheed Martin Corp. Turkey is involved in F-35 production.
Erdogan told reporters on his plane while returning from a trip to Russia this week that he and his foreign minister were constantly being asked about the S-400 purchase and being pressured to abandon it.
“We answer that 'this deal is done, everything is settled'. The delivery of the S-400 missile defence system was to be in July. Maybe it can be brought forward,” Erdogan said.
On Tuesday, leaders of the US Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees warned Turkey that it risked tough sanctions if it pursued plans to buy the S-400s, and they threatened further legislative action.
“By the end of the year, Turkey will have either F-35 advanced fighter aircraft on its soil or a Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system. It will not have both,” Republican Senators Jim Risch and Jim Inhofe and Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Jack Reed said in a New York Times opinion column.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday there were no setbacks in a deal to procure Russian S-400 missile defence systems, and added that “eyes are on the delivery process,” expected in the first half of July.
US President Donald Trump may visit Turkey in July, Turkey’s President Tayip Erdogan said in an interview in Japan where he will attend the G20 summit and is expected to meet with his American counterpart.
Turkey called on the United States on Wednesday to avoid steps harmful to bilateral relations after the US State Department spokeswoman reiterated Ankara would face real and negative
The cabinet formed the committee on recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee that had been earlier constituted by the prime minister to look into the Broadsheet saga.
MoHAP also announced that it conducted 162,945 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment.
Tensions have soared between Moscow and Washington under US President Donald Trump, fuelled by fresh allegations of sweeping cyber-attacks among a litany of other disagreements on the world stage.
The EU and the United States are the world's top trading powers, along with China, and have close cultural, historical, business and defence ties, but Donald Trump sought to sideline the EU, championing Britain's departure from the bloc.