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Turkey denies US ultimatum against Russia arms deal

May 24, 2019 at 2:56 pm

Russian S-400 air defence system, seen during a military parade in Moscow, Russia, 27 December 2017 [Wikipedia]

Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kiran yesterday denied recent reports about an alleged US ultimatum issued to Ankara as a result of its recent purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, Haberturk has reported.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting with US officials, Kiran said that his country did not receive any warnings “at the official level”. Kiran was in Washington to hold talks with US officials on “increasing awareness of US-Turkish relations as well as dispelling misinformation on the subject.” He was accompanied by Cagri Erhan, a member of the Turkish Presidential Security and Foreign Policy Committee, and Bora Bayraktar, a Turkish journalist.

Turkey recently said that it would not abandon the Russian purchase, stressing that the military systems were “necessary for the country”. It also noted that it would receive the first batch in July.

READ: US vows to sanction ‘Russian weapons’ buyers’

US officials have repeatedly advised Turkey to buy the American Patriot missile system rather than the S-400 Russian system, arguing that the Russian system would be “incompatible with NATO systems” and that it would cancel Washington’s sale of F-35 fighter jets to Ankara.

Turkey, however, has stressed that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not “pose a threat to the alliance”.

CNBC quoted official US sources as saying that the White House was giving Turkey “two weeks to make up its mind regarding the Russian purchase.”