Baku, Azerbaijan, April 17
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The US must not think that Turkey will accept all its requirements, Turkish Ambassador to the US Serdar Kilic said, while commenting on Washington’s requirements to abandon purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.
"Ankara is not obliged to fulfill Washington’s all requirements to be a reliable partner of the US in NATO," Kilic added, Trend reports on April 17 referring to Turkish media. He also stressed that the two countries greatly need each other. “Turkey is a key country in Washington’s Middle East policy,” the minister added.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that the US believes that Turkey would be unable to have both American F-35 fighter-bombers and Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems at the same time, as this is technically impossible. “According to Pentagon sources, it is impossible to launch the F-35 in the space where the S-400 is operated,” he said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the country may receive the S-400 missile systems earlier than scheduled. In his words, Turkey expects to receive the first supplies of the S-400 missile systems in July 2019.
The President noted that despite appeals from the US, Turkey will not abandon the purchase of S-400. "This issue has been already resolved by Turkey," Erdogan added.
Initial reports of negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the supply of S-400 appeared in November 2016. The signing of a contract was confirmed by the Russian side on September 12, 2017.
Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the S-400 air defense systems would be deployed starting from October 2019. The supply of the S-400 air defense systems to Ankara cost $2.5 billion, Head of the Rostec state corporation Sergey Chemezov informed in December 2017.
Turkey is the first NATO member country, which will receive the S-400 air defense systems from Russia.