Turkey sees improvement in S-400, F-35 talks with US

Turkey sees improvement in S-400, F-35 talks with US

Turkey's defense minister says its military personnel are receiving training to operate the S-400 missile defense system despite USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation objections to Ankara's decision to purchase the Russian technology.

Speaking to reporters late on Tuesday, Akar said that Turkey was fulfilling its responsibilities in the F-35 project and that Ankara expected the program to continue as planned.

The Turkish defense minister said Turkey had sent military personnel to Russian Federation for training on the S-400 air defense system, state-run Anadolu Agency reported Wednesday.

Turkey's push to buy the S-400 system has strained relations with the United States, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, which worries about integrating Russian technology with Turkey's Western equipment.

The Kremlin on Wednesday condemned as "unacceptable" what is called a usa ultimatum to Turkey to cancel the S-400 deal.

"We take ultimatums extremely negatively, we consider such ultimatums unacceptable", Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow.

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Underlining that the S-400 systems only had defense capabilities, he said "no one should be bothered" by their use by Turkey.

Akar said linking the S-400s purchase with that of the F-35s is "another hurdle" and noted that nine North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners have a stake.

The reported $2.5 billion (Dh9.18bn) deal between Turkey and Russian Federation, brokered in 2017, has driven a wedge between Ankara and its other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. Turkey has until the end of first week of June to decide if it will buy Raytheon's US -made Patriot missile defense system or follow through on an agreement to buy a Russian missile system, CNBC reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.

Turkey plans to purchase 100 of the aircraft, and there are seven Turkish companies that produce parts for the jet.

In multiple efforts to deter Turkey from buying the S-400, the State Department offered in 2013 and 2017 to sell the country Raytheon's Patriot missile system. "What more can we do as a partner?"

He also said Turkey and Russian Federation would jointly produce S-500 defence systems after Ankara's controversial purchase of the S-400s from Moscow. He said EUROSAM had offered to install a SAMP-T battery in Turkey and that scouting work would be carried out.

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