Turkey refuses to return S-400 air defense systems to Russia

Turkey refuses to terminate the deal with Russia for the supply of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, Turkish President, Recep Erdogan said.

"We took steps to acquire US F-35 fighters, we paid the money, but the US did not supply them and  demanded we should return S-400 systems to Russia, but we are not a tribal state, we are Turkey. We are not afraid of US sanctions," he said.

Earlier in October, US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus warned Turkey of serious consequences if it puts Russian S-400 air defense systems into service. According to her, Washington wants to make it clear that Turkey should not use the Russian air defense systems.

Turkey tested the S-400 complexes on October 16. During the tests, three missiles were launched and all of them successfully intercepted three targets. According to unconfirmed reports, the Turkish S-400 Triumf systems struck British-made Banshee drones.

The deal between Russia and Turkey on the supplies of the S-400 air defense systems caused a crisis in Turkey's relations with the USA. Washington demanded Turkey should abandon the deal with Russia and purchase American Patriot complexes instead, threatening to delay or even cancel the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey.