Turkey cannot undo purchase of Russian S-400s: minister

A Russian S-400 Triumph air defence missile system parade through Red Square during the general rehearsal of the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 6, 2018. Russia marks the 73rd anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two on May 9. / AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems is a done deal and cannot be canceled, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Tuesday, adding that Ankara needs further defense procurement that could be bought from the US, Reuters reported.

Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 systems, which are not compatible with NATO defenses, has unnerved the United States and the alliance’s member countries, which are already wary of Russia’s presence in the Middle East.

“The current deal is a done deal, I cannot cancel it,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters after meeting with American counterpart Mike Pompeo. “But I need more … and I prefer to buy from my allies,” he added.

US President Donald Trump in August signed a defense bill that contains a provision suspending the delivery of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Turkey. One of the reasons cited in the bill was a Turkey’s plan to install Russian air defense systems on its soil.

Turkey will start installing the S-400s in October 2019.

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