Alwaght- Turkey will not cancel the contract for purchasing the air defense systems S-400 from Russia even despite the risk of sanctions that may be imposed by the US, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
“Let those who criticize us for purchasing the S-400 to fight terrorism look at themselves. Why are they silent about the S-300 which Greece has? And they tell us that this is a wrong step. What kind of alliance, what kind of solidarity is this? This would fly, but not with us,” Erdogan said in parliament.
"You’ve said nothing to Greece (in connection with the purchase of S-300 systems), but you said that you will not let Turkey acquire S-400. You claimed that the contact with Russia was a mistake. You also said that you might introduce sanctions. We are not going to be accountable to you. We will proceed along the right way without any concessions for the sake of achieving our own goals," Erdogan added.
In December, Russia and Turkey signed a loan agreement on the purchase of Russian-made S-400 air defense missile systems. According to the deal, Russia will supply Turkey with four batteries of S-400s. The initial delivery of the batteries to Ankara is planned for the first quarter of 2020, and the systems will be operated by the Turkish Armed Forces independently of Russia.
The deal has become a major concern for NATO. Earlier this month, NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller said that the S-400 does not integrate with NATO members' systems, while NATO's Military Committee Chairman Petr Pavel warned that although the nations had sovereignty in decision-making, they are also "sovereign in facing the consequences of that decision."
US President Donald Trump on August 2, 2017 signed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). The act envisaged tighter sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea and cautioned US and foreign companies against concluding cooperation agreements or contracts with Russian manufacturers and agencies representing the defense and intelligence sectors.