May 5 (UPI) -- Turkey will follow through on its agreement to purchase the S-400 missile defense system from Russia despite U.S. opposition, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Sunday.
Oktay said that Turkey would not allow the threat of sanctions from the United States to prevent it from purchasing the surface-to-air missile defense system, which U.S. officials have warned aren't compatible with NATO equipment and may compromise U.S.-made Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets.
"When Turkey signs an agreement, Turkey keeps its promise. We signed this agreement and certain payments were made," Oktay told Turkish news outlet A Haber. "I don't think the arguments and concerns here have a lot to lean on."
"Decisions about military procurement are for nations to make," he said. "But, as I have said, interoperability of our armed forces is fundamental to Nato for the conduct of our operations and missions."
Stoltenberg also said he supports discussions between Turkey and the United States about purchasing a U.S. patriot missile system and efforts by Turkey, France and Italy to develop a long-range air and missile defense system.
"This is important for NATO because key allies are involved and because we encourage allies to purchase equipment which is able to operate together," he said.