Turkey brushes off USA warning over S-400 Russian missile purchase

F-35 independence day drill

In a speech in Munich last month, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence declared that the Trump administration has "made it clear that we will not stand idly by while North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies purchase weapons from our adversaries". However, the Italian-French Eurosam for the SAMP/T Aster 30 Eurosam was willing to transfer critical design information to Turkish defense contractors.

"My best military advice would be that we don't then follow through with the F-35, flying it or working with an ally that's working with Russian systems", Scaparrotti told the Senate Armed Services Committee in testimony on Tuesday.

So, Turkey is not categorically against making an air defense system deal with Western allies.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey intends to proceed with the purchase of the S-400 missile despite US warnings and the sale of the American-made system, claiming it will grant the United States personnel access to the Kremlin weapon. U.S. officials also said U.S. Patriots might serve as an alternative. Then, things got serious and US authorities started ringing the alarm bells.

Ties remain strained between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies even after Turkey defused a showdown a year ago by freeing long-held USA pastor Andrew Brunson. If this decision was taken two years ago, preferably after the failed coup attempt as a gesture of goodwill, things might have been different.

"If Turkey takes the S-400s there will be grave consequences", acting chief Pentagon spokesperson Charles Summers told reporters Friday, saying it would undermine America's military relationship with Ankara.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed USA threats to cancel the sale of high-tech F-35 jets to Turkey, saying his country will move ahead with the purchase of Russian S-400 air-defense missiles.

He said that Turkey was still open to buying Patriot systems from the United States but only if the conditions are suitable, and he added that Ankara may seek a deal to procure S-500 systems from Moscow later. No positive development has occurred up to this point and Erdoğan stated once again on Wednesday that the S-400 deal is done and there is no going back. As far as I can see, what USA officials are offering is considered to be "too little, too late" by Ankara.

Trump has been largely silent on the issues affecting the Turkish-U.S. relationship.

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