Baku, Azerbaijan, June 13
By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:
Turkey has decided to buy S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems and this topic is non-negotiable, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
“Turkey will not abandon the purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems despite all appeals made by the US,” Cavusoglu added, Trend reports referring to Turkish media on June 13.
Earlier, Cavusoglu said that the US and NATO specialists may visit Turkey and make sure that the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems do not pose a threat to NATO.
"Despite the US urges Turkey to abandon the purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, they do not give a guarantee that they will sell us Patriot air defense systems," he added.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stated that the US believes that Turkey would not be able to have both US F-35 fighter-bombers and Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems at the same time, as this is technically impossible.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey may receive the S-400 missile systems earlier than scheduled. “Turkey expects to receive the first supplies of S-400 missile systems in July 2019,” the president added.
He stressed that despite appeals from the US, Turkey will not abandon the purchase of the S-400.
Initial reports of negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the supply of S-400 appeared in November 2016. The signing of a contract was confirmed by the Russian side on September 12, 2017.
Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the S-400 air defense systems would be deployed from October 2019.
The supply of the S-400 air defense systems to Ankara cost $2.5 billion, Head of the Rostec state corporation Sergey Chemezov said in December 2017.
Turkey is the first NATO member state to receive the S-400 air defense systems from Russia.
Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu