12.01.2019 | Turkey refuses to reject deal with Russia - US poised to react
Source - The Daily Express
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to ditch the agreement struck with Moscow over the purchasing of S-400 air defence systems. Washington told Turkey in September 2018 the precondition for buying American-made Patriot air defence systems was refusing to buy Moscow’s S400s. But in a clear snub to the US, Turkey announced the deal has been finalised.
Ankara’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a televised interview: "The S-400 deal has already been finalised.
“We can agree with the US on the Patriot system, but not if there will be a condition to abandon the S-400s.”
Mr Cavusoglu added that Ankara had received the proposal from the US to buy its weapons and would consider the terms.
But warned Washington against attempting to meddle in Ankara's relationship with Moscow.
Mr Erdogan had already been adamant on Turkey’s position over the American ultimatum after it has been issued.
Speaking at the Turkey-Kyrgyzstan Business Forum in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, the Turkish president said: “We have made S-400 deal with Russia.
“Someone is offended by it. We don't need permission from anybody.”
The then-US Defence Secretary James Mattis warned Ankara this agreement, worth £1.9m ($2.5m) was a cause of worry for Washington, with Turkey being a NATO member.
It is unlikely the deal between the US and Turkey will go through after the purchasing of the Russian S-400s also because this missile system can’t operate together with the Patriot system, according to experts.
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Turkey, which hopes to buy from Washington F-35 jets, could see the US pulling that deal as well, as these aircrafts don’t work along with the S-400, said Tim Ash, a senior emerging markets strategist at Bluebay Asset Management.
He explained: "Turkey cannot buy both. I think the U.S. will pull both the Patriot sale and F-35 deal if Turkey goes along with the S-400.
"Net-net, I think the news about Patriot is still a positive, as it shows the US and Turkey are talking and moving back closer together.
“That said, the Turks might be trying to drive too hard a bargain, and might end up with nothing as a result."