“I explained everything to President Biden,” Erdogan said in a taped interview Tuesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. CBS News, Saturday (25/9/2021).
Erdogan claims that America’s refusal to sell Turkey the US-made Patriot missile system as an alternative has led his government to buy the Russian missile defense system instead. But the US has denied this claim.
Both the Trump and Biden administrations have stated that the Russian S-400 missile system is dangerous if activated in the same country that flies the F-35 jets. The US government says the S-400 will gather detailed information about the F-35s, possibly stripping them of their stealth advantage. Turkey has previously purchased F-35 jets, giving NATO members a role in their production. But in retaliation for the S-400 purchase, the Trump administration halted F-35 deliveries, removed Turkey from the program, and imposed sanctions on Turkish defense officials.
Nonetheless, Erdogan remains defiant.
“So it looks like you still intend to buy one more round of this S-400, of this Russian missile system?” asked CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan. “So the sanctions will still be there?”
“In the future, no one can interfere in terms of what kind of defense system we get, from which country, at what level. Nothing can interfere with that. We are the only ones who make such a decision,” Erdogan replied.
“That sounds like yes.” said Brenan.