ANKARA, March 7 (Rahnuma): Turkey’s allies should not block Ankara’s purchase of a Russian air defense system, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.
“As a NATO ally, you should not intervene in Turkey’s purchases from another country or a non-NATO country, if you don’t want to sell,” Cavusoglu was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying.
On Tuesday, top U.S. general for Europe Curtis Scaparrotti said he would recommend the United States not to sell F-35 jets to Turkey if the S-400 deal went ahead.
Hours after Scaparrotti’s remarks, the U.S. State Department warned if Turkey proceeds with the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense system, the United States will have to reassess Ankara’s participation in the F-35 fighter program.
Turkey and Russia finalized a deal to supply Ankara with S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in December 2017. Russia will deliver the first batch of defense system batteries in late 2019.