Turkeys chafes at Washington’s ultimatum: S-400s or F-35s, as sanctions loom
Turkey has said that a U.S. House of Representatives' resolution condemning Ankara's purchase of Russian defense systems and urging potential sanctions was unacceptably threatening.
At the same time, the Kremlin said that Russia plans to deliver its S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey in July, amid concerns that the delivery will further harm already strained Turkish-U.S. relations.
The United States has threatened to remove Turkey from its F-35 fighter jet program unless it drops the deal. Washington has also raised the prospect of sanctions on Turkey, which could prolong its economic recession and prompt a re-evaluation of its 67-year membership of NATO.
"The agreements reached between Russia and Turkey are being fulfilled on time in the given context. There are no bilateral problems," Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told reporters on 11 June.
Asked if the missiles would be delivered in July, he said: "Yes, that's what we plan somehow."
The comments came days after the head of Russian state conglomerate Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, said Moscow would start delivering S-400 missile systems to Turkey in two months, contradicting several Turkish officials who said the delivery could take place as soon as June.
US-Turkey relations have been strained on several fronts including Ankara's plans to buy Russia's S-400 air defense systems, the detention of U.S. consular staff in Turkey, and conflicting strategy over Syria and Iran.
The standoff threatens to bring U.S. sanctions, which would hurt Turkey's already recession-hit economy, and raise questions over its role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The resolution, introduced in May and entitled "Expressing concern for the United States-Turkey alliance", was agreed in...