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Turkey Insists On Controversial Russian Missile Purchase

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R).  File photo

Volkan Bozkir, the chairman of the Turkish Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, was quoted by Turkey’s Milliyet newspaper on Thursday as saying that Turkey will go ahead with the controversial purchase of a Russian missile system.

If true, the buying of the “S-400” missiles would violate NATO rules which do not allow members of the alliance to buy any military equipment whatsoever from Moscow.

Ankara has repeatedly declared that they will buy the missile system despite US warnings that the Russian defense equipment will not be incorporated into NATO’s defense system.

The US has already made a counter-offer to Turkey, so that the country could purchase US-made ”Patriot” missiles instead of the Russian weapons.

Bozkir allegedly said, ”Just because Russia has issues with another country that we care very much about – the resolving of that issue via Turkey would not be right.” The comments came before a meeting of the foreign affairs committee convened on Wednesday. The Turkish lawmaker was reportedly insistent that the purchase will go ahead.

The American administration has declared that if Turkey goes on with the Russian purchase, the US will withdraw their offer for the Patriot missiles. In addition it would re-consider its decision to sell their brand-new F-35 fighter jets to Turkey.

The US gave Ankara an informal deadline of Friday, when the country has to let Washington know whether or not the purchase from Moscow will go forward.

American-Turkish relations have seen a deterioration over the past several years, mainly due to the aggressive rhetoric of Erdogan against the West. The Turkish leader is seen by the West to be cultivating increasingly close ties with Russia and Iran.

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