Turkey considering delaying purchase of Russian missile system

Sources say Turkey considering a US request to delay the purchase of S-400 missile defense system until 2020.

Elad Benari,

S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile system after deployment
S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile system after deployment
Reuters

Turkey is considering a US request to delay the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system until 2020, two people familiar with the proposal told Bloomberg on Monday.

Turkey’s deal with Russia to purchase the S-400 air defense missile system has caused tensions between Washington and Ankara.

The US believes the S-400 sale is part of Russian efforts to disrupt the alliance amid Western concern over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's burgeoning relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Trump administration last week asked Ankara to postpone receiving the advanced missile-defense system which was set for July, said the sources, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive negotiations.

A delay would buy Turkey and the US -- which have the two largest militaries in the NATO alliance -- more time to resolve the impasse that has strained relations and threatened to result in more sanctions on Turkey’s battered economy.

Acting US Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan has called Turkey’s planned purchase of the S-400 “incompatible” with the sale of F-35s.

US officials said last month 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.

Turkish officials insist that the deal to purchase the S-400 does not affect the security of the US and have stressed that they will go ahead with the deal despite Washington’s objections.

The US embassy in Ankara had no immediate comment on the Russian missiles or talks on the safe zone. Officials in Erdogan’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.




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