'Turkey understands NATO's concern on Russian S-400s'

Turkey understands NATO's concern on the procurement of the Russian S-400 air defense system, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Friday.

"We need to take into consideration NATO's concerns [regarding S-400]. It is not true to say Turkey disregards them. We are always sensitive," Çavuşoğlu said at a joint news conference with his Polish and Romanian counterparts in capital Ankara.

"Our allies and NATO must also understand this very well. We need our air defense system urgently," he said.

Washington has balked at Turkey's purchase of the S-400s.

U.S. officials have suggested Turkey buy the U.S. Patriot missile system rather than the S-400, arguing it is incompatible with NATO systems.

Turkey has responded that it was the U.S. refusal to sell it Patriots that led it to seek other sellers, adding that Russia offered it a better deal, including technology transfers.

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