Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would not step back from an S-400 missile purchase deal with Russia.
“There is an agreement. We have determination. It is out of the question to take a step back from it [S-400 deal],” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Tuesday.
Erdogan also said an offer from the United States to sell Patriot missiles to Turkey was not as good as the Russian offer.
Ties between the NATO allies have been strained recently over Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400 missile system, which Washington says could compromise its F-35 fighter jets that Ankara is also set to buy.
US officials have advised Turkey to buy the Patriot missile system rather than the S-400 system from Moscow, arguing it is incompatible with NATO systems.
Ankara responded, saying it was the US refusal to sell Patriots to Turkey that led it to seek other vendors, adding that Russia offered it a better deal, including technology transfers.
Turkey has suggested that the two countries form a working group which would asses the potential effect of the S-400s on the F-35 aircraft, which was reportedly accepted by Washington.
The US has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if it goes through with the purchase of the Russian missile system, a move that would likely damage Turkey’s economy.
The lira has already declined about 14 percent this year in part due to concerns over the potential sanctions.