“We are buying the S-400 systems from Russia, this issue is closed,” Cavusoglu told NTV channel on Tuesday, stressing that Turkey is not planning to give up this deal despite the decision of the US Senate.
The US Senate adopted on Monday the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019, which obliges the Secretary of Defense to present a special report regarding the potential purchase of the S-400 air and missile defense system from Russia by the Turkish government. The decision throws into question the delivery of the F-35 fifth-generation fighter to Turkey.
An explanatory note for the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act announced that the ban on selling F-35 to Ankara comes due to the imprisonment of US pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey. The text may also include a call on the US administration to impose sanctions on Turkey in case of its purchase of Russia’s S-400. The final wording will be put together after both houses agree on their versions.
Last week, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli slammed the US’s demand, calling on Turkey to give up the deal to purchase S-400 air defense missile systems from Russia, considering it clear example of ‘blackmail’. Canikli also stressed that Turkey “is fulfilling all its commitments” and expected “timely deliveries of F-35 fighters” from the United States.
Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy stated in late May 25 his country could take measures against the United States if Washington refused to supply F-35 to Ankara.