Erdogan says Turkey could buy more Russian defense systems despite U.S. warnings

·1 min read

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told "Face the Nation" on Sunday that Turkey may still purchase a second Russian S-400 air defense system despite U.S. warnings of the potential consequences.

Why it matters: The U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkey in December 2020 for its purchase of its first Russian missile system. The U.S. has repeatedly warned that the acquirement of a second system would trigger fresh sanctions, per Reuters.

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The big picture: Erdogan explained his decision by saying that Turkey never received F-35 stealth jets from the U.S. despite a payment of $1.4 billion, and had requested Patriot missiles but didn't receive them.

  • Host Margaret Brennan then reminded Erdogan that Turkey hadn't received the F-35s because of its purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system.

  • "Well nobody can interfere with that," Erdogan said.

What he's saying: "You're not going to give me Patriots. And in terms of defense, I'm going to possibly acquire defense systems from another country, and nobody can get involved with this," he added.

  • "In the future, nobody will be able to interfere in terms of what kind of defense systems we acquire, from which country at what level," Erdogan said, when asked again about Turkey's intention to buy more Russian S-400s.

  • "That sounds like a yes," Brennan interjected. "Of course, yes," Erdogan replied.

Go deeper: Past friction between Biden and Erdogan foreshadows future tensions

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