Turkey is planning to buy more Russian military weapons even amid opposition from the United States, the Voice of America reported on Monday.
Ankara has already made a deal with Moscow to buy more air defence missiles, VOA said, citing a source close to the government.
Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian anti-aircraft S-400 missiles in July 2019 prompted the United States to remove it from the F-35 stealth fighter jet programme and impose sanctions on its defence industry under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
The administration of President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Turkey to forsake the S-400s and cancel plans to buy more, seeing the system as a threat to the security of the United States and NATO’s defence systems.
Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of new sanctions on Turkey should it fail to abandon the Russian air defence system.
“We are bound to the CAATSA legislation and will follow the law going forward,” Blinken said.
Turkey says that it will not reverse course on the S-400s.
Ankara will not make any new military purchases from Russia until Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with Biden on the sidelines of next month’s NATO Summit, the VOA said, citing analysts.
“Washington is forcing Turkey only further to deepen its military ties with Russia,” Turkish presidential advisor Mesut Caşın told the VOA, saying that the United States is not giving the combat aircraft that Turkey needs.
“We need 200 combat aircrafts. But if the U.S. don’t give the aircrafts, we can buy the Russian combat aircrafts,” Caşın said.