The letter sent by US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on the Russian S-400 missile defense system is "not in spirit of the alliance,” Hulusi Akar, Defense Minister of Turkey said Wednesday.
Shanahan, in a letter to Hulusi Akar dated June 6, stated that the Pentagon has suspended training of new F-35 Turkish pilots. He also told Ankara that the 42 Turkish students attending F-35 training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and Eglin Air Force Base in Florida must leave the country by July 31.
“We've suspended some of the activities in terms of training. We haven't suspended any of the maintenance activity," he added.
“Turkey is preparing a response to the letter and that it would be sent to the US in the coming days,” the minister was quoted as saying by Daily Sabah.
He said he would speak to Shanahan on the phone on Thursday and would meet him in Brussels at the end of June during a NATO meeting.
"Tomorrow, I'm hoping that he and I will exchange views and get an update on what kind of progress we've made," Shanahan said Tuesday.
The Pentagon said Tuesday that the US Air Force halted ongoing training of Turkish pilots on the F-35 before the end date for "safety" concerns, the report added.
The US has been pursuing its NATO-ally Turkey to change its course over the purchase of Russian systems.
According to US officials, the S-400s would be incompatible with NATO systems, and it will be compromising with the safety of the F-35 jet that Ankara wanted to acquire.
But, Turkey has emphasized that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO operability and would not pose a threat to the alliance.
Ankara said it was Washington's initial refusal to sell its Patriot missile system that led it to seek other offers, adding Russia offered a better deal that included technology transfers.
The United States is Turkey's biggest defence equipment importer with export figures souring to $353 million during the first five months of 2019, according to data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM). Ankara's aviation and defense industry export revenue stood at $1 billion, up by 37 percent from last year's $784 million during the same period, reported Anadolu Agency citing TİM data
The United States has threatened imposing Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against Turkey if it goes ahead with the Russian S-400 Air Defence Systems deal, the State Department warned on Wednesday. This is the first instance of the US intending to invoke CAATSA against a country for buying Russian equipment since the act came into force in 2018
Pakistan is likely to purchase the export version of Turkey's Zargana anti-torpedo countermeasure systems, to be equipped on diesel-electric fast-attack Agoste 90B class submarines. The Pakistani Navy and the developer of the systems, Turkish firm Aselsan are expected to meet soon to discuss the purchase, Daily Sabah reported Wednesday
Washingtons behaviour in regarding the S-400 deal is an attack on the strategic autonomy of New Delhi and Ankara, and US attempts to foist its interests on sovereign countries would prove counterproductive, experts from India and Pakistan said Monday. “My view is that Turkey and India will very jealously protect autonomy in their strategic decision making
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Russia has begun working on its next aircraft carrier which is to be powered by nuclear energy, a source from the country's defense ministry said Wednesday. "The Statement Of Objectives (SOO) on the new aircraft carrier is now being created and has not yet been sent to the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC)," the source told TASS
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