Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan mentioned that the Russian S-400 missile defense system, parts of which have been delivered to Turkey over the past four days, can be fully deployed in April 2020.
Turkey’s buy of the Russian system has raised tensions with its NATO allies, significantly the USA, which has warned Turkey that it will respond with sanctions.
Speaking at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on the third anniversary of 2016’s attempted coup, Erdogan stated eight planes had already introduced parts of the Russian system and more have been coming, as he had repeatedly promised.
U.S. officials have mentioned that along with being hit with laws aimed toward preventing countries from buying military equipment from Russia, referred to as CAATSA, Turkey might be thrown off the F-35 stealth fighter jet program.
That might imply it will not make F-35 parts or be capable of purchasing the jets it has ordered.
On Sunday, Erdogan stated that U.S. President Donald Trump has the authority to waive sanctions on Turkey for its buy of Russian air defense techniques and may discover a “middle ground” within the dispute.
Tensions between Turkey and Western allies have risen in the latest months over the acquisition of the S-400 system, with a sequence of different actions taken by the NATO member state compounding the situation.
German and Austrian ministers mentioned on Monday that the European Union would endorse a symbolic punishment for Turkey over what it calls “illegal” drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus and threaten harsher sanctions unless Ankara changes tack.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had mentioned on Sunday that Turkey would continue drilling for fuel in waters off Cyprus if the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government does not accept a cooperation proposal put ahead by Turkish Cypriots.