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Turkey says it has already bought Russian S-400 defense systems

Turkey says it has already bought Russian S-400 defense systems

It is working on a response to be sent in the coming days, according to Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar.

Turkey has already purchased S-400 defence systems from Russian Federation and hopes they will be delivered in July, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, an announcement likely to ratchet up tensions with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Washington. The US and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members fear Russian Federation could spy on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation aircraft through the S-400 system.

Erdogan, however, hopes to persuade Washington not to exclude his country from the F-35 program when he meets US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan on June 28-29.

U.S. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a letter to his Turkish counterpart last week that the training of Turkish pilots will end July 31 and that Turkey would not be allowed to take final possession of the four F-35 aircraft it bought.

Washington has suggested that Ankara instead purchase the US -made Patriot air-defense system.

Washington says the S-400 pose a threat to the F-35 jets.

The United States has given Turkey a deadline of July 31 to reverse its purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missile-defense system or face the loss of subcontracting work on the USA -led F-35 fighter jet project.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey has signed up to buying 100 F-35s and has invested heavily in the F-35 programme.

"We will hold to account Turkey's exclusion from F-35 program in every platform due to reasons without reason or legitimacy", Erdogan said.

Shanahan said on Friday the USA offer for the Patriots was "very competitive" but Erdogan said Russian Federation offered a better deal including reasonable pricing and a joint-production promise.

"We have so far paid $1.250 million", he said.

"This is not an attack system but a defense system. No, they didn't", he said.

Meanwhile, Russia's stance on Turkey's purchase of its S-400 missile defense system has not changed, the country's ambassador to Turkey said on June 12.