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Turkey's Erdogan Signals Willingness To Buy More Russian Missiles

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)

Turkey’s president has signaled that he is considering buying more sophisticated Russian antiaircraft missile systems, a move that would further irk Washington.

Turkey, a NATO member, was kicked out of the F-35 fighter jet program and Turkish defense officials were sanctioned after Ankara bought the S-400 system in 2019.

The United States says the use of Russian systems within NATO poses a threat to F-35s.

For its part, Turkey says the S-400s could be used independently without being integrated into NATO systems.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the U.S. news channel CBS that Turkey has not been given the option to buy American-made Patriot missiles.

And he complained that Washington had not delivered F-35 stealth jets despite Turkey making a payment of $1.4 billion.

CBS released a partial transcript of Erdogan's comments ahead of a full interview to be broadcast September 26.

Military experts have called the S-400 missile defense system one of the most advanced air defense systems in the world

Erdogan is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 29.

Based on reporting by AP and CBS