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Threat of US sanctions does not deter Erdogan from Russian missile deal

Turkey is determined to follow through on its deal to buy the S-400 missile system from Russia despite strong opposition from Washington, CNN Turk reports.

The television channel quoted Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying: “We made an S-400 agreement with Russia. Turning back is beside the point. It is done.”

He was speaking to journalists on the flight back from Sochi, a Black Sea city of Russia, where he had attended a trilateral summit between Turkey, Iran and Russia on Syria.

As a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Turkey’s move to buy the Russian missile defense system has disappointed NATO, which claims that the S-400s cannot be integrated into the US-manufactured Patriot missile system already installed to defend NATO’s eastern border.

Erdogan’s comments come after an informal deadline on an offer for a $3.5 billion Raytheon Co-Patriot missile package set by Washington for Ankara had passed.

US officials had said that if Ankara did not break the S-400 missile system deal, the US would withdraw its offer on February 15.

As of yet, there has been no comment by Washington on the passing of the deadline or what its next move will be.

It has previously hinted at sanctions, including the cancellation of Turkey’s deal to buy Lockheed Martin F35 fighter jets.

Erdogan did not on Saturday specifically discount purchasing the Patriot system, saying Ankara was open to a deal as long as it served Turkey’s interests.

Moscow has promised to deliver the S-400 system in July.

The formal US offer for Turkey’s purchase of the Patriot system expires at the end of March according to the Reuters news agency, which quoted US officials as saying that this would mean a new offer would have to be submitted then.

US official: If Turkey buys S-400, Patriot sales process to end

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