Baku, Azerbaijan, May 24
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party calls on the country's authorities to postpone the purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system, Trend reports on May 24 referring to Turkish media.
As reported, the Republican People’s Party also calls for the creation of a joint commission between Turkey and NATO to consider the potential threat of the Russian S-400 air defense system to NATO.
Moreover, the party called on Ankara to improve the country's relations with Egypt and Israel and to resume the work of the Turkish embassies in these countries.
Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that specialists from the US and NATO could come to Turkey to make sure that Russian S-400 air defense systems do not pose a threat to NATO.
"Although the US urges Turkey to abandon the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense missile systems, it does not guarantee that it will sell us Patriot air defense systems," Cavusoglu said.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stated that the US believes that Turkey would not be able to have both US 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 not possible to launch the F-35 in the space where the S-400 is operated,” he said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey may receive the S-400 missile systems earlier than scheduled.
“Turkey was expected to receive the first supplies of S-400 missile systems in July 2019,” the president added. He stressed that despite appeals from the US, Turkey will not abandon the purchase of the S-400.
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 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 said in December 2017.
Turkey is the first country, a NATO member to receive the S-400 air defense systems from Russia.
Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu