As the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in New Delhi, India received a boost from Turkey's assertion on buying S-400 missile defense system from Russia. The Erdogan government has made its stance clear that though Turkey would come under pressure from the US it will go ahead with buying S-400, one of the most advanced air defence systems.
The development is critical for India as Pompeo has already landed in New Delhi on an official visit where he will meet his counterpart S Jaishankar. The matter is expected to be discussed between India and the US.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu clarified: "No matter what sanctions decision, no matter which statement comes from the US, we have already bought the S-400. Now we are talking about when the S-400 will be delivered to Turkey. It is not possible for us to give up on the purchase of the S-400."
It is to be noted that earlier this week the United States issued a stern warning to Turkey where it said that Turkish defence forces would lose F-35 warplanes if S-400 deal with Russia goes ahead. Interestingly, Turkey produces parts of the F-35s fuselage, landing gear and cockpit displays. The US is apprehensive of the fact that installing the S-400 system would allow the technology to recognise F-35, an aircraft which the US claim can't be detected through radars and heat sensors.
Meanwhile, Turkey has said that it has made a great contribution to the F-35 program and can't be shunned away. Cavusoglu added, "All decisions should be taken by consensus. These kinds of steps taken by the US are not compatible with the partnership agreement or the law."
The US has been trying to persuade Turkey to buy the American Patriot missile system. The US believes that the Russian system would be incompatible with the NATO system and would pose a great threat and expose F-35 to enemy missile system. Similarly, India was also offered the Patriot missile system but it went ahead with buying S-400 missile defence system giving its long term defence relationship with Russia.
Ahead of Pompeo's visit to India, many US senators warned India of sanctions under the Countering America's adversaries through sanctions act, CAATSA. However, the Ministry of External Affairs had earlier clarified that the government of India would not call off S-400 deal with Russia.