ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey is ready to study the US offer on Patriot air defense systems, but considers the purchase unacceptable if it involves the abdication of Russian S-400 systems, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
“Turkey may in the future buy the Patriot systems, but it does not consider it possible if the purchase is in a condition of abdicating the S-400,” Cavusoglu said on the NTV channel.
Previously, the agency Anadolu reported that the US delegation had in Turkey an offer to sell Patriot systems, including four radar AN / MPQ-65, four control centers, 10 sets of antennas, 20 M903 missile launchers and other equipment.
The Pentagon’s defense and security collaboration agency has previously reported that the US Department of State has approved a possible agreement with Turkey to sell Patriot air defense systems with the necessary equipment in the total amount of $3.5 billion.
The credit granting agreement for the supply of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems to Turkey was signed in December 2017 in Ankara. According to the head of the Russian state-owned Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, it deals with the supply of four S-400 divisions worth $2.5 billion.
This comes as Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Ankara and Moscow were able to overcome all the difficulties of the bilateral relations that arose after the incident with the Turkish downing of the Russian Su-24 jet in Syria.
“Despite the tragic nature of these events and the consequences they have had, I do not believe that this now dominates our relations … We have overcome all difficulties, there are hard pages in our history,” Ryabkov said in a panel discussion during the forum Raisina Dialogue, in the capital of India, New Delhi.
Ryabkov also stressed that a positive bilateral agenda is more important than the differences and nuances of relations, adding that Moscow and Ankara have a common understanding regarding the need to protect the independence of the two countries in security matters.
Relations between Russia and Turkey worsened considerably after the Turks destroyed a Russian Su-24 jet flying an anti-terrorism mission to Syria. Russia’s retaliatory measures against Ankara included restrictions on the activities of Turkish organizations on Russian soil, a freeze on the hiring of Turks by Russian companies and banishment of certain imports of food products. The measures began on January 1, 2016 and were withdrawn on May 22, 2017, after a mutual agreement.