Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara has refused to send S-400 air defense systems manufactured in Russia to Ukraine.
Cavusoglu said in an interview with Habertürk that the United States offered Ankara to send its Russian-made S-400 air defense systems to Ukraine, but Turkey refused.
“They made proposals that directly concern our sovereignty, such as give us control of this, give it to another place. Where is our independence and sovereignty?” the minister said.
Last year, Turkish President Recep Erdogan also said that claims that Ankara could supply Ukraine with its S-400 missile systems in exchange for sanctions on it being lifted are a ploy targeted against Ankara and aimed at stirring up problems for the country.
Local media reported that Pentagon had long talks with Ankara on sending S-400 to Kyiv in exchange for Turkey’s joining the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet program and the sanctions on it being lifted.
Turkey initially purchased the S-400 in 2017, plunging its relationship with the U.S. into crisis. As a result of the deal, the Trump administration expelled Turkey from the F-35 program and later sanctioned the country’s defense industry organization and its leaders.
The United States said the Russian-made air defense system threatened its F-35 fighter jet program. US officials claimed a powerful S-400 radar system would allow Russia to spy on the advanced F-35 fighter jet.