Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed the U.S.’ continued pressure on Turkey in the matter of purchasing the S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.
“Turkey, being a member of NATO, decided to acquire the S-400 system, the most advanced and, I will say without exaggeration, best-in-class systems of the world,” Putin began.
“And what’s wrong with that? Is this a crime? ” Putin stated, as quoted by the Anadolu Agency.
“Which country has the right to limit the initiative of an independent country to acquire extremely sensitive products from the point-of-view of ensuring their own security when it is ready to purchase it?” he added.
In December of last year, Russian and Turkish representatives signed a loan agreement for the supply of the S-400 system.
In early May, the head of the Turkish Defense Industry Secretariat (ISM), Ismayil Demir, said that Russia will deliver S-400 to Turkey within the agreed timeframe, and possible US sanctions will not have any influence on it.
For his part, US Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell said that the purchase of the S-400 from Russia could negatively affect the supply to Turkey of the F-35.
In response, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara would retaliate against Washington if it blocked the delivery of these fighters.