Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turkey has already bought the Russian S-400 missile defense system and that there is no need to argue over it, according to Turkish media reports on Wednesday.
“I’m not saying Turkey will purchase the S-400 air defense system; it has already done so. We have finished this deal,” he said at a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Wednesday.
In what has become a major point of disagreement between NATO allies, the United States has long pushed Turkey to halt its purchase of the Russian S-400s, saying the system would compromise the F-35 fighter jet program.
Erdoğan said the delivery of the S-400 will be completed in July.
Turkey has repeatedly said the purchase of the missile system was a “done deal.” Ankara has proposed that the two allies form a working group to assess the impact but says it has yet to hear back from Washington.
Russia said on Tuesday it plans to deliver its S-400s, which are not compatible with NATO systems, to Turkey in July, setting the clock ticking on a US threat to hit Ankara with sanctions if it goes ahead with the deal.