Russian Federation to deliver S-400 system to Turkey ahead of schedule

Elias Hubbard
May 30, 2019

Turkish Defence Minister, Hulusi Akar, had earlier this month that there could be a delay in the delivery of the Russian missile defense system.

Turkish pilots might be excluded from participating in the F-35 training program, in yet another attempt by Washington to force its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally out of the S-400 air defense system deal with Russian Federation, according to a new report. Last week, Ankara said that it was preparing for potential USA sanctions which Washington has been threatening to impose under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). The expedited delivery came upon "the request of the Turkish side", the tweet added.

Meanwhile, Reuters cited two unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation as claiming that Washington is considering suspending training for Turkish pilots as the two countries have been at loggerheads for months.

United States officials have advised Turkey to buy the Patriot missile system rather than the S-400 system from Moscow, arguing it is incompatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems.

Akar said four F-35 fighter jets have already been delivered to Turkey and their activities are ongoing at the base in the U.S.

"We are carrying out activities in a way that will completely fulfill the responsibilities given to us", Akar said, adding that Turkey made full payment for F-35 fighter jets to Washington.

Ankara, in turn, has insisted that the purchase of those weapons is its sovereign affair and has excluded the possibility of abandoning plans to complete the purchase.

In Wednesday's call, Erdogan also welcomed the USA decision this month to drop additional tariffs on Turkish steel.

As Turkey has consistently refused to abandon the deal, Washington has threatened to withhold the sale of the stealth fighters to Ankara, or to slap it with sanctions under the 2017 Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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