National Politics

Turkey refutes new s-400 deal claims amid F-16 talks with US

Türkiye refutes new s-400 deal claims amid F-16 talks with US

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Türkiye’s Presidency of Defense Industries has said that there is no new development regarding the purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system, and the process has been ongoing based on the original deal.

Earlier, quoting the head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS), Dmitry Shugayev, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency claimed that a contract has been signed to deliver a second batch of the air defense system to Türkiye.

In 2019, Washington announced that it was taking Türkiye out of the F-35 stealth fighter jet program over Ankara’s purchase of the S-400 over the concerns that the missile system could enable Russia to acquire sensitive information about the F-35s.

Excluded from the F-35 program, Türkiye requested to buy more F-16 jets from the US, as well as the modernization of its F-16 fleet.

Meanwhile, when asked about the TASS report during a press briefing yesterday, Ned Price, the spokesperson of the US State Department, said “our position on Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 is well known.”

“But the point we have consistently made across the board is that Russia’s brutal and unjustified war against Ukraine makes it vital …that all countries avoid transactions with Russia’s defense sector. It puts them at risk of sanctions”, he said.

“Russia wants to sabotage F-16 talks”

Faruk Loğoğlu, a former envoy to the US, told the Turkish service of the Voice of America that the main purpose of the TASS report was to “sabotage” the F-16 talks between Washington and Ankara.

“After the statement from the Presidency of Defense Industries, it is understood that the Russians deliberately made this report. Obviously, the main purpose is to sabotage the F-16 talks. Because the person who made the statement is not an ordinary person, it is a high-level bureaucrat,” he said.

“Of course, it is understood from the statements that we have signed a deal [with Russia] as well,” he added.

While the US administration is “between a green light and a yellow light” regarding Türkiye’s F-16 requests, there are some lawmakers and senators who are clearly against it, noted the diplomat.

Even though Ankara has denied the TASS report, it would negatively affect the talks, he said. (SD/VK)

Source:Bianet

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