Amidst reports that the United States asked Turkey to donate its Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems to Ukraine, Turkish Defense Industry President İsmail Demir told Russian media that Turkey does not intend to do so.
"This is not a topic of discussion for us. This issue has been discussed in the past and now we continue to cooperate with the Russian Federation,” he told the Russian newspaper Izvestiya.
He underlined a sentiment oft-repeated by the AKP-led government and President Erdoğan in recent weeks: that Turkey will maintain its relationships with both Ukraine and Russia.
"Turkey can determine its own policy and the path it will take," said Demir. "Our position is to maintain peace between Ukraine and Russia. We are doing everything to stop the bloodshed.”
Three sources told Reuters this week that U.S. officials asked Turkey to give its S-400 systems to Ukraine to help counter the Russian invasion, now in its fourth week. Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian-made missile defense systems has long been a point of contention between the two NATO allies; when Turkey acquired the systems in 2019, it was booted from the U.S. F35 fighter jet program and sanctioned by the U.S.