Turkey rejects US ultimatum on S-400s
Russia is ready to deliver first battery in July
Ankara foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed what Turkish President Erdogan had announced before: Turkey will not renounce to purchase S-400 anti-aircraft defense missiles from Russia. As the "Reuters" agency reported, Cavusoglu confirmed the purchase plan by answering a question about ultimatum letter sent by US interim defense secretary Patrick Shanahan.
Shanahan had warned that Turkey would be excluded from fifth generation F-35 fighter program, in which it is involved both as a buyer and as a production partner (see AVIONEWS). Speaking to journalists from Azerbaijan Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stated that style of the letter is not in compliance with spirit of the alliance, and that he is preparing an answer.
Ankara's request to set up a working table was not taken into account by Washington. Russian anti-aircraft missiles are incompatible with US fifth-generation fighters and the entire NATO defense system.
As the Turkish agency "Anadolu" reports, quoting a note issued by Ankara government, telephone conversation scheduled for today between the two defense ministers has not reduced tensions between the countries. Akar and Shanahan reiterated their respective positions on security and bilateral cooperation between United States and Turkey and gave a new appointment at the NATO summit at the end of June in Brussels. Meanwhile, Russia is ready to deliver first S-400 battery in July.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency