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Turkish Foreign Ministry denies reports claiming delay in Russian missile delivery

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Turkey on Friday denied reports claiming Ankara is considering a delay in the delivery of a Russian S-400 missile defense system due to US demands, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.

“The reports of some media organs in recent days that Turkey is considering delaying S-400 delivery on US demands are baseless,” Hami Aksoy, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said.

“Our procurement of the S-400s from Russia is continuing as planned,” Aksoy added.

He also said that Turkey’s offer to form a working group with the US to discuss Ankara’s pending delivery of the Russian S-400s was still open.

Tensions between the US and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 Russian surface-to-air missile defense system which Washington says will jeopardize Turkey’s role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger congressional sanctions.

Following protracted efforts to purchase an air defense system from the US with no success, Ankara decided in 2017 to purchase the Russian S-400 system.

US officials advised Turkey to buy the US Patriot missile system rather than the S-400s from Moscow, arguing that the Russian system would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge.

Turkey, however, claimed the S-400s would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.

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