Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not rule out buying additional Russian weapons despite Moscow’s war in Ukraine; as many other countries fall in line with sanctioning Russia.
Erdogan, who spoke alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said Ankara would continue to meet its NATO commitments to Ukraine but that it would be “premature” to cancel future weapons agreements with Russia.
“Under the current circumstances, it would be premature to talk about what the future shows right now. We have to see what the conditions bring,” Erdogan said on Monday.
“We have to maintain our friendship with Mr. Zelenskyy and Mr. Putin,” he added.
In 2017, Erdogan brokered with Russian President Vladimir Putin a reported $2.5 billion deal for the S-400 missile system.
The S-400, a mobile surface-to-air missile system, is said to pose a risk to the NATO alliance as well as the F-35 aircraft, America’s most expensive weapons platform.
Despite warnings from the United States and other NATO allies; Turkey accepted the first of four missile batteries in July 2019.
The Trump administration cut Turkey; a financial and manufacturing partner, from the F-35 program and imposed sanctions on the NATO ally.