Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said his country will go ahead with purchasing Russian S-400 missile defence systems, despite the US decision to exclude Turkey from participating in the F-35 fighter jet production programme.
“This is the way the West behaves – they create fake crises. They think they can sell when they want and they do not sell when they do not want. Turkey has emerged from such a system of relations. According to which laws [the US] intends to apply for sanctions on the purchase of an S-400? This is an incorrect approach and will lead to a crisis in relations”, the Turkish minister said in an interview with a local TV channel.
The minister said Turkey paid the United States its financial contributions to the F-35 fighter jet production programme, adding that the first patch of fighter planes will be supplied on 21 June.
On Monday the US Senate presented its version of a defence policy bill for 2019 which includes suspending Turkey’s participation in the F-35 fighter jet production programme over Ankara’s intention to purchase the Russian S-400 system.