Ankara, July 1: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the first deliveries of the Russian-made S-400 air missile defence system would reportedly take place under coming 10 days, NTV reported on Sunday, after a day when he stated there wouldn’t be US sanctions on the pact.
Buying any military equipment from Moscow leaves Ankara vulnerable to US penalty under a 2017 law called as Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Washington says the Russian S-400 systems do not comply with the defence network of NATO and could compromise Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter planes – a jet Ankara is assisting to build and also planning to buy.
But according to Reuters news reports on Saturday, Erdogan said United States President Donald Trump had said there would not be an imposition of sanctions over the Russian agreement, after the US president stated Ankara had been treated “unfairly” over its move.
The White House stated Trump has “expressed concerns” over the Russian S-400s pact and “encouraged Turkey to work with the United States on defense cooperation in a way that strengthens the NATO alliance”.
Interacting with reporters after the G20 summit 2019 held in Osaka, Japan, where he held a bilateral meeting with Trump, Erdogan said he believed S-400s dispute would be overcome without a problem, adding the US president supported Ankara in the spat.
As per NTV reports, Erdogan said, “In our phone calls, when we come together bilaterally, Mr Trump has not said so far: ‘We will impose these sanctions.’ On the S-400s, he said to me: ‘You are right.’ We carried this issue to a very advanced level.”
“At this advanced level, Trump said: ‘This is injustice’. This is very important. I believe that we will overcome this process without any problems,” Erdogan added.
He also stated the US and Turkish defence and foreign officials would “open the doors” to solving the issue.
NTV quoted Erdogan as saying: “One S-400 is worth three Patriots. If the conditions are even equal to the S-400 (deal), we would buy Patriots, but if they are not, then we have to think of our interests,”