Due to erroneous decisions of the U.S. authorities, defense cooperation with Turkey “lacks strategic vision” and harms the interests of the two countries. Turkish President Reyzhep Tayyip Erdogan said this at a meeting of the Turkish-American Business Council.

“Our defense cooperation is facing artificial obstacles. The situation negatively affects the security of NATO as a whole, as well as our trade relations. This biased attitude formed as a result of pressure of some lobbyists on decision makers in America is detrimental to America’s interests,” he said.

The Turkish leader said that Ankara would “continue to make efforts to develop trade and economic relations with the US”.

In July 2019, the U.S. excluded Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet supply program for the purchase of four Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, the deal between Moscow and Ankara amounted to $2.5 billion. “F-35s cannot coexist with the Russian intelligence gathering platform, which will be used to study their advanced capabilities,” the White House explained. Erdogan last September praised the purchase of SAMs from Russia with the words “it was worth it.”

Turkey bought four divisions of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia for $2.5 billion. The deal was struck in December 2017. In October 2019, Rosoboronexport reported that Russia had fulfilled the terms of the contract ahead of schedule by delivering all elements of the S-400 Triumf, including missiles. As Sergey Chemezov, head of Rostec, previously reported, Moscow is awaiting decisions from Ankara on the second batch of S-400.