Listen to this article Turkey Rejects US Proposal To Send Russian S-400s To Ukraine
Turkey Rejects US Proposal to Send S-400s to Ukraine
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has rejected a proposal by the US that Turkey sends the S-400 anti-missile defense system it bought from Russia to Ukraine. The US suggested that Turkey hand over control of the system to the US or another country, like Ukraine, as it seeks to resist Russian forces. However, Turkey refused the proposal, citing concerns about sovereignty.
Background on Turkey’s purchase of S-400s
In 2017, after failing to purchase an air defense system from the US, Turkey signed a contract with Russia to acquire the state-of-art S-400 system. US officials expressed opposition to its deployment, arguing that S-400s would be incompatible with NATO systems.
Turkey insisted that it would not integrate the S-400s into NATO systems and claimed that they would not endanger the Alliance or its armaments.
US Proposal and Turkey’s Response
According to Çavuşoğlu, the US argued that the S-400 system purchased from Russia should exclude Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program. In addition to the exclusion, the US suggested that Turkey should send the S-400s to Ukraine, an idea that Turkey found unacceptable. Çavuşoğlu stated that these proposals were intended to encroach on Turkish sovereignty, which Turkey will not tolerate.
Turkey’s Future Plans
Ankara is now producing its own national combat aircraft, and the government is keen to develop ties with the US. However, Turkey has also requested F-16 jets and upgrade kits from the US, and the $6 billion deal is still pending. Ankara hopes to acquire 40 jets and upgrade kits for 79 warplanes already in its inventory. Although the mechanisms for improving ties with the US are in place, the request for F-16s and upgrade kits has not progressed as quickly as Turkey would like.
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