Erdogan: Purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems complete

Turkey US ultimatum over S-400s'not in spirit of alliance

Taking note of Washington's concerns, Turkey has proposed measures to investigate whether or not the purchase of the Russian missile systems would actually pose a danger to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation produced F-35s, including a joint working group with the United States to study the issue.

Mr Erdogan said he hoped to resolve the situation with the USA through phone diplomacy ahead of a meeting with President Trump at the end of June, Reuters reported.

Turkey's plan to buy the Russian air defense system has been a cause of tension within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance, which both the United States and Turkey belong to.

Turkey, however, emphasized the S-400 would not be integrated into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.

The US had said Turkey could not have both the S-400 anti-aircraft defence system and US F-35 fighter jets.

The United States says Turkey's acquisition of the Russian system poses a threat to Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 stealth fighters, and has warned of potential USA sanctions if Ankara presses on with the deal. It is working on a response to be sent in the coming days, according to the Turkish defence minister.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey has signed up to buying 100 F-35s and has invested heavily in the F-35 programme.

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Erdogan vowed to seek answers on his country's "exclusion from F-35 project for reasons that have no rational or legitimate basis", adding that Turkey was not only a customer but also a programme partner of the F-35 project.

But Erdogan said Wednesday that his government would hold to account anyone who excluded Turkey from the F-35 program.

He noted that Ankara and Moscow had signed the deal with a pledge for a reasonable price and future joint production.

"We reject the wording [of] the letter [by acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan] to our defense minister".

"We have so far paid $1.250bn", he said. Yes, we did. Did they deliver?

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.

The US has also threatened to hit Turkey with sanctions if it goes ahead with the deal.

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