Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden that he will not give up buying Russian S-400 air defense systems.
“Turkey’s position on S-400 deliveries remains unchanged – as it was and as it remains. I have communicated our country’s position to Mr. President [Joe Biden],” Erdogan said. He said the same goes for Turkey’s position on the deliveries of American F-35 fighter jets.
Erdogan and Biden held talks on the margins of the NATO summit in Brussels on June 14. The meeting lasted about an hour.
Turkey’s purchase of S-400 air defense systems caused a crisis in relations between Ankara and Washington. The U.S. demanded that Turkey abandon the deal, threatened with sanctions and excluded it from the U.S. program for the production of F-35 Lightning II generation bombers. Turkey was to receive more than 100 aircraft from the U.S.
S-400 deliveries to Ankara began back in July 2019, and Turkey fully paid for the Russian systems in December 2020.