Turkey will send home Russian missile experts

3 weeks ago
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Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said that the purchased S-400 missile systems will be fully under Turkish control.

Turkey said it would send home Russian missile experts overseeing the S-400 missile systems, which have caused complications in relations with the United States.

The agency noted that the statement appeared on the eve of a planned meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Joe Biden in the margins of the NATO summit in Brussels in mid-June.

Washington said Turkey should end the presence of Russian personnel in the country who train and help assemble missiles, the statement said.

But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said the system would be under Turkish control after the experts leave, reiterated that Ankara would not make concessions on Washington’s broader demand to get rid of the missiles so that related U.S. sanctions could be lifted.

“The S-400s will be 100 percent under our control. We have sent many technicians for training. Russian military experts will not stay in Turkey,” Çavuşoğlu said during a visit to Greece.

Nevertheless, he rejected U.S. calls for Turkey not to activate the missiles.

“One cannot accept another country’s calls ‘not to use’ them,” he said.

Cavusoglu said he would meet with U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Washington or Ankara before the two leaders meet.