ANKARA, April 10. /TASS/. Turkey may sign another deal with Russia on S-400 missile system deliveries if the United States refuses to supply Patriot air defense system to Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told NTV channel on Wednesday.
"If the US does not want to sell Patriot to us, tomorrow we may buy another S-400 system and we also can purchase other air defense systems," Cavusoglu said.
The foreign minister dismissed as nonsense the attempts of some countries to put into question Turkey’s membership in NATO amid the S-400 deal. Cavusoglu also recalled a proposal made during the visit to the US on "seting up a technical working group to iron out the dispute over the S-400." So far, Ankara has not received any positive answer, he noted.
Earlier, Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon told TASS that that the US Department of Defense was not considering plans on creating such a group with Turkey.
Cavusoglu said also said that Ankara was capable of approaching any other country in the world with an offer if the US refuseed to supply the newest fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets to the republic.
"If we can’t have the F-35 jets, we will be forced to satisfy our fighter jets need somewhere else," he emphasized.
Cavusoglu also recalled that fourth and fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet originally earmarked for Turkey was recently redeployed to the US Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the Erdogan administration that Ankara won’t be eligible for the F-35 manufacture and purchase program following the deployment of Russian S-400 missile systems.
In November 2016, reports emerged that Russia and Turkey were negotiating an S-400 missile system supply deal. In September 2017, Moscow confirmed the deal had been signed, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey had already transferred the advance payment. The US is actively trying to cripple Turkey’s attempts to purchase Russia’s S-400 systems. Earlier, the Pentagon said that the deal with Russia would make Turkey ineligible for the F-35 program.