Turkey confirms Russian Federation S-400 missile deal, ignores U.S. warning

Erdogan Purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems complete

"Most likely, Russia offered the deal to Mr Erdogan, whose threat perception in those days was very high and the only way to protect himself from another coup d'etat attempt was the Russian missile system".

"But before there, we would like to discuss this issue (on the F-35 program) by telephone and reverse it from the current situation back to where we started", Erdogan said in a televised speech.

Washington says the S-400 pose a threat to the F-35 jets.

During a visit to Moscow in April, Erdogan said Russian Federation and Turkey must "strengthen cooperation in the military-technical sphere".

Defence Minister Hulusi Akar fuelled such a suggestion when he said in April that S-400s would "probably" be stationed in Istanbul and Ankara. He added that he would hold a phone call with Shanahan on Thursday. "The Turkish and United States presidents will discuss the issue of training our pilots on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan", he added.

He noted that Turkey was also a manufacturing partner in the program.

Erdogan, however, hopes to persuade Washington not to exclude his country from the F-35 program when he meets US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan on June 28-29.

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Another senior United States official, Under Secretary of Defence Ellen Lord, told reporters that the USA did not want Russian technicians to be able to access the F-35's vulnerabilities.

As well as these immediate responses, the S-400 deal threatens to undermine Turkey's role in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - a cornerstone of its security policy since it joined in 1952.

The wider issue behind the S-400 purchase is the realisation in Ankara that Turkey's interests do not align with the US's as they once did. Besides, the contents of the letter was released by media representatives; we consider it inacceptable and are preparing a response to it. Turkey will not stand idly by if it is ejected from the F-35 project for which it has already paid $1.25 billion, he also told members of his ruling party.

Turkey and US flags are seen in this picture illustration taken August 25, 2018.

The Russian military said late on Wednesday that Moscow and Ankara had struck a deal for a complete cease-fire in the northwestern province of Idlib, the last stronghold of Syria's rebellion.

"Turkey's relationship with Russian Federation is historically fraught with suspicion and friction".

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