Turkey Angrily Rejects US Request To Give Ukraine S-400 Air Defense System

Turkey over the weekend announced that it has rejected a US request for Ankara to provide Ukraine with Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems, which it controversially acquired from Moscow in 2017, and which resulted in strained relations with the United States.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu revealed the request, and said it would be a violation of Turkey’s sovereignty, and strongly suggested the request was insulting in the first place. "They made proposals that directly affect our sovereignty, for example, give us control over it, give it to another place. Where is our independence and sovereignty?" Cavusoglu said.

Turkish Defense Ministry/AFP

"The U.S. has made various offers regarding the delivery of the Russian S-400s missile defense systems in Türkiye to third parties, Çavuşoğlu also said," according to Turkish media sources. 

He stressed that Turkey's answer is a firm 'no':

The minister said one of the proposals made to Türkiye was to send the S-400s to Ukraine. “They told us ‘Will you send to Ukraine?’ We said ‘no,’” he stated.

Not only was Turkey hit with limited US sanctions in 2020 as a result of getting the S-400 systems, but the Pentagon also kicked Turkish pilots out of the F-35 training program, and halted delivery of the advanced Lockheed-made fighters.

Addressing this, Cavusoglu emphasized his government is demanding the money back which was spent on training. 

"We are not saying ‘Let’s go back to the F-35 [program] right now.’ We are saying ‘Give us our money back.’ Because we produce our own national combat aircraft," he said.

US-Turkey relations also took a downturn over a period of years due to the Kurdish situation along the northern Syrian border. US special forces have long been embedded with the Syrian YPG and "Syrian Democratic Forces" - but which Turkey views as terrorist organizations with PKK roots.

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