Turkish FM: S-400 purchase from Russia a 'done deal'

Turkey’s Foreign Minister says his country's purchase of Russian missile defense systems cannot be canceled.

Elad Benari ,

Mevlut Cavusoglu
Mevlut Cavusoglu

Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems is a “done deal” and cannot be canceled, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Ankara's push to buy the systems from Moscow has caused tensions with the US, its NATO ally.

US officials said earlier this week that Washington had stopped delivery of F-35 fighter jet parts to Turkey in response to Ankara's decision to move ahead with the purchase of the Russian surface-to-air missile system.

On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence warned Turkey against buying the Russian S-400 anti-missile system.

“Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?” he said.

Washington has urged Turkey to purchase Raytheon Co Patriot defense systems instead of the S-400s, but Ankara has said that, even though it would like to make such a deal, it would only be possible if the right terms were agreed upon.

Speaking Thursday at a news conference on the sidelines of a visit to the United States, Cavusoglu said Turkey would like to purchase the Patriot systems, but it would not back out of its deal with Russia.

“We have told them I don’t know how many months ago or years ago that it’s a done deal, so we cannot cancel it,” Cavusoglu said, according to Reuters.

He added that Turkey had received a new offer for the Patriot systems from the United States, which included prices and delivery dates, but added that they would negotiate.

However, Cavusoglu said the United States could not guarantee it would be able to sell the Patriot systems to Ankara due to an impasse in the US Congress.

“The real problem is this: even today, the United States cannot give guarantees about selling the Patriots to Turkey. Can they give them tomorrow? They can’t guarantee it. Then who will meet my needs?” he said.