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Pentagon Accuses Trump of Not Issuing Tough S-400 Ultimatum to Turkey: Report

WASHINGTON – The move comes days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that the United States had failed to come up with an agreement on its Patriot air defense system comparable to that proposed by Russia for missile systems 400; According to Erdogan, Ankara will stock up on S-400 in July, Sputnik reported Tuesday.
Officials at State department and pentagon have castigated President Donald Trump for not issuing an ultimatum to Ankara over the purchase of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems, ABC News reported.
The sources, in particular, mentioned Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who have repeatedly expressed concern that Turkey is buying the S-400 rather than that Patriot missile interceptors manufactured in the United States.
According to sources, for quiet some months they have warned Turkey for opting Russian Missile system, which is not compatible with NATO’s defense systems.
In addition, the sources referred to Erdogan’s telephone conversation with Trump, which occurred on February 22, when the Turkish president allegedly reproached the US Congress for “unconstitutionally violating” Trump’s executive power by imposing sanctions in Ankara because, the S-400 agreement reached as part of the Countering America project, Anti-Sanction Opponents Act (CAATSA).
Trump promised to speak in Congress and then move on, sources said, adding that his response “was not formulated so that Erdogan understands the issues.” The White House has not yet commented on the ABC News report.
Speaking at a press conference after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Erdogan stressed that Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400s was his “sovereign right” and that no one had the right to ask Ankara to give up its agreement with Moscow.
Earlier, he stressed that the United States failed to reach an agreement similar to that reached with the S-400 on its Patriot air defense systems, adding that payments for Russian air defense systems would be carried out in accordance with the contract with Moscow.
“We have finalized the S-400 agreement. We proposed the United States to buy their patriots, but they failed to make us an appropriate offer. So now, the S-400 agreement is coming to life and we are waiting for its supply in July,” said Erdogan.
Erdogan has continuously confirmed his country’s commitment to the S-400 agreement with Russia, signed in December 2017, and criticized Washington’s attempts to force Turkey to abandon the deal.
He also asked for a quick supply of F-35s, noting that the country had already paid for their purchases and invested in their development.
US authorities have repeatedly threatened to block deliveries to Ankara of Lockheed Martin F-35, a new fifth-generation stealth fighter, if he passed with the purchase of an S-400, fearing that the system Russian anti-aircraft defense does not compromise the F-35 stealth capabilities.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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