No change in Turkey’s course on S-400 deal: Turkish officials

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No change in Turkey’s course on S-400 deal: Turkish officials

Russian Federation and Turkey penned a $2.5 billion contract on the delivery of four battalion sets-worth of S-400s to Ankara in late 2017.

It urges Turkey to cancel the S-400 purchase and calls for sanctions if Ankara accepts their delivery.

Training by Turkish pilots on F-35 fighter jets was recently stopped at a U.S. air base in Arizona, officials said on Monday. They also said that Turkey's suggestion of establishing a joint commission with the United States to examine the S-400 issue was "still on the table". Turkish officials have indicated that negotiations on the Patriot proposal are continuing, but have stressed that Ankara would not trade its S-400s for the US-made systems. That, the resolution said, would undermine the USA -led transatlantic defense alliance.

Demir said the Defence Ministry and his directorate were working on sending a response soon.

"It is unacceptable to take decisions which do not serve to increase mutual trust, to continue to keep the language of threats and sanctions on the agenda and to set various artificial deadlines", it added in a statement.

"However, the other side (United States) has not taken any steps to form the technical team and discuss this".

The United States has stopped the training of Turkish pilots on F-35 fighters at an airbase in Arizona, US officials said, as Washington winds down Ankara's involvement in the programme over Turkey's plans to buy a Russian air defence system.

The US Air Force has pulled 26 Turkish military personnel from its F-35 fighter jet training program due to "safety" concerns stemming from the ongoing dispute over Turkey's push to buy both American stealth aircraft and a Russian missile defense system, according to a defense official directly familiar with the matter. There is no middle ground. "There's no third option".

Turkish officials have told daily Hürriyet that there was no change regarding Turkey's stance on an S-400 missile defense deal with Russian Federation.

The anonymous sources noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's has already said that the purchase from Moscow was a "done deal" and "there is no backtracking from that".

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar is likely to meet with Shanahan in Brussels on the sidelines of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit planned for June 26-27, a senior Turkish official said.

Separately, credit ratings agency Fitch said on Tuesday that any US sanctions would have a "significant impact" on sentiment around the Turkish lira, which has sold off since late March in part due to the spat with Washington over the missile defense system. "However, the impact on sentiment could be significant", said Paul Gamble, senior director and head of emerging Europe at Fitch Ratings.

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