The United States has spent years pressuring its NATO ally not to buy the Russian-made missile system, claiming that it poses a threat to the alliance and is incompatible with NATO equipment. Ankara’s intransigence prompted Washington to kick Turkey out of the F-35 fighter programme and to sanction an entity coordinating Turkey’s defence sector.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he’s made clear to US President Joe Biden that Ankara’s position on its S-400 missile systems remains unchanged.
Turkey and Russia penned a $2.5 billion deal in late 2017 on the delivery of four S-400 mobile air and missile defence batteries. Deliveries of the system began in 2019. Turkey has since indicated that it would like to purchase more S-400s.
The Turkish president confirmed to reporters that President Biden would like to pay a visit to Turkey, and noted that amid the imminent US and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, Ankara is prepared to take on “much more responsibility there.”
He added that Turkey plans to discuss the subject of defence industry cooperation with its US ally in greater detail. “In the future negotiation process, the heads of the foreign ministry, the ministry of defence and the defence industry will be involved,” Erdogan indicated.
Erdogan arrived in Azerbaijan for an official state visit on Tuesday. Turkey has actively expanded its diplomatic activities in the Caucasus region in the aftermath of the…