Erdogan Says Turkey Plans to Buy More Russian Defense Systems

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has said he plans to buy a second batch of missile defense systems from Russia. 

The move from Turkey is in defiance of the U.S. and despite repeated warnings that it poses a threat to NATO’s broader defense systems, therefore putting the security of the NATO alliance at risk. The S-400s pose a threat to the U.S. F-35 fighter jets, the U.S. has said.

In an interview with CBS News, Erdogan said that he will not be canceling the order Turkey had placed with Russia. He called the U.S.’s attempt to block the sale an interference, and said only Turkey can decide such things for itself. 

This is the second batch of the missiles that Turkey will purchase from Russia. Following the first batch, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkey’s Defense Industry Directorate, its chief Ismail Demir, and three other officials.

The United States has warned that any additional purchases would likely lead to additional sanctions. 

A spokesperson for the State Department said that the U.S. strongly urges Turkey not to retain the S-400 system, and refrain from additional purchases. They also said that any significant new Russian arms purchases would risk the enforcement of CAATSA 231 sanctions.

The additional sanctions would be separate from, and in addition to, the ones previously imposed. 

In the CBS News interview, Erdogan said that he explained everything to President Biden. He said that the U.S.’s refusal to sell Turkey the Patriots systems — which are made by the U.S. — led Turkey to find an alternative. However, Washington disputes this claim. 

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