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Turkey refuses to give up Russian S-400s in return for US F-35 fighters

March 24, 2022 at 12:49 pm

Turkey’s Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) Head, Ismail Demir on December 21, 2020 [Arda Küçükkaya/Anadolu Agency]

The head of the Turkish Defence Industries, Ismail Demir, said his country has no plans to abandon the Russian S-400 defence system in return for the US- made F-35 programme.

Earlier, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said that Washington is ready to give Ankara F-35 fighter jets in return for it giving the Russian S-400 defence system it purchased to Ukraine.

Reuters quoted sources as saying that the US officials proposed the deal to their Turkish counterparts last month, however, no official request was made.

The sources added that the proposal was discussed briefly during the visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to Turkey earlier this month.

Remarking on the reports, Demir said: “This is not a topic of discussion for us… We discussed this issue in the past, and now we continue to cooperate with Russia.”

“Turkey is able to determine its policy and the path it will take,” adding: “Our position is to achieve peace between Ukraine and Russia, and we are continuing our efforts to stop the bloodshed.”

READ: Turkiye FM says Russia, Ukraine ‘close to agreement’