Turkey doesn’t intend to forgo purchasing the Russian S-400 Triumf missile systems or the US talks on possible delivery of the MIM-104 Patriot missile systems, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy told reporters at a briefing on Friday.
"We have no intention of claiming that we will not purchase the Patriot systems. The same goes for the S-400 issue. Despite the fact that Washington made a rather late Patriot offer, the talks are continuing," TASS quoted him as saying.
According to Aksoy, at the moment "Turkish pilots are successfully continuing to get trained to operate the US fifth-generation F-35 jet fighters."
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the Erdogan administration that Ankara won’t be eligible for the F-35 manufacture and purchase program following the deployment of Russian S-400 missile systems. Washington believes that these weapons technically cannot be used simultaneously.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara is capable of approaching any other country in the world with an offer if the US refuses to supply the newest fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets to the republic. The Defense News US newspaper reported that in this case Turkey will turn to Moscow, citing a high-ranking source in the Turkish armed forces.
In November 2016, reports emerged that Russia and Turkey were negotiating an S-400 missile system supply deal. In September 2017, Moscow confirmed the deal had been signed, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey had already transferred the advance payment. The US is actively trying to cripple Turkey’s attempts to purchase Russia’s S-400 systems.