Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted that unlike the US, NATO has no objections to the supply of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to Turkey.
Speaking to reporters at the Turkish city of Burdur on Tuesday, he said that Washington has repeatedly “coaxed Ankara into abandoning the S-400 deal”.
“But why should we refuse? You did not take any steps on the supply of missile systems to Turkey. And we have the right to use different systems. NATO clearly said that it would not create problems. Greece has possessed S-300 systems for many years, but you have no objections to it”, Erdogan pointed out, referring to the US.
The statement comes after the Turkish President confirmed late last week that Ankara “agreed a deal with Russia on the S-400, so for us to turn back from the deal is out of the question”.
“This is a done deal”, Erdogan was quoted by the news network CNN Turk as saying.
Last week, US Permanent Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said that Washington is alarmed about the S-400 deal between Moscow and Ankara. She urged Turkey not to continue the implementation of the agreement, which she said would not allow Washington “to deliver the air defense systems to Turkey which we could install there”.
Earlier, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News cited unnamed senior US officials as saying that Washington will halt the process of selling US Patriot surface-to-air missile systems to Turkey if it proceeds with the purchase of S-400s.