Turkey won't bow to USA 'ultimatums' on Russian Federation missile system

Turkey already bought Russian S-400 systems Erdogan

Russian Federation said on Tuesday it plans to deliver its S-400s, which are not compatible with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems, to Turkey in July, setting the clock ticking on a US threat to hit Ankara with sanctions if it goes ahead with the deal.

Turkey and the United States have sparred publicly for months over Ankara's order for the S-400s, which are not compatible with NATO's systems.

Yet Turkey's determination to pursue the Russian deal comes after years of seeking to update its air defences - a quest that has seen it previously negotiate fruitless deals with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members France, Italy and the U.S., as well as China. Yes, we did. Did they deliver?

Mr Erdogan himself faced danger on the night of the coup, narrowly escaping an attack on his holiday retreat by helicopter-borne commandos before flying to Istanbul, running the risk of being shot down on the way.

"From the Russian perspective, there is no strong incentive to help Turkey", he said.

"After the coup attempt, Mr Erdogan's first visit overseas was to St Petersburg and on the flight back he talked about buying the system from Russian Federation", said Mitat Celikpala, an worldwide relations professor at Istanbul's Kadir Has University.

"I'm not saying that Turkey is buying S-400 systems, I'm saying that Turkey has already bought them, and this is a done deal", Erdogan declared, adding that the Russian-made advanced missile systems "will be delivered next month".

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He added that he was set to speak with Shanahan by phone and that they would meet in person at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting at the end of the month.

On Monday, US officials announced that Washington had halted the training of Turkish pilots on F-35 fighters at an airbase in the US state of Arizona.

The US Congress has also passed a resolution calling for sanctions against Turkey's recession-hit economy if the missile deal progresses. Ankara has proposed that the two allies form a working group to assess the impact but says it has yet to hear back from Washington.

Erdogan is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump on the margins of Group of 20 (G20) summit in Japan on June 28-29, but the Turkish leader said he will speak to the USA president by phone on June 13. Simultaneously with the sending of the letter, its content was disclosed to media. Turkey will not stand idly by if it is ejected from the F-35 project for which it has already paid $1.25 billion, he also told members of his ruling party.

The purchase has raised eyebrows among Turkey's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and provoked anger in Washington, which expected Ankara to opt for the American Patriot air defence system instead.

Patrick Shanahan sent a letter to Hulusi Akar last week, seen by the Foreign Policy magazine, in which he said Turkish trainees would have to leave the United States by July 31.

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