Turkey intends to buy more Russian defence systems: Erdogan

Nobody can interfere with what defence systems Ankara would buy, says Turkish president


Reuters September 26, 2021
Turkish Presi­dent Recep Tayyip Erdogan giving a speech. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was still intending to buy a second batch of missile defence systems from Russia, a move that triggered US sanctions and deepened a rift with Washington.

In an interview aired on Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan at CBS News, Erdogan said nobody can interfere with what defence systems Ankara, a NATO ally, would buy.

"Nobody can interfere with that. We are the only ones to make such decisions."

Washington has repeatedly said a second batch of the S-400s would almost certainly trigger fresh US sanction

Erdogan also said Biden — who has repeatedly said promoting democracy and rights and freedoms worldwide is at the heart of his foreign policy — never in their meetings raised issues with Turkey’s human rights track record.

Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey's ties with the United States were not healthy and that Washington needed to "sort out" issues over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 defence systems, according to broadcaster Haberturk.

The United States imposed sanctions on Turkey's Defence Industry Directorate, its chief Ismail Demir and three other employees in December following the country's acquisition of a first batch of S-400s.

Talks continued between Russia and Turkey about the delivery of a second batch, which Washington has repeatedly said would almost certainly trigger new sanctions.

Erdogan will visit Russia next week to meet President Vladimir Putin to discuss issues including the violence in northwestern Syria.

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