Thursday, Jun 20

Turkey’s S-400 deal with Russia is still on the run

Ankara will continue negotiations with Washington on Patriot missile sale, head of Turkey's defense industries said on Thursday.
16.05.2019 - 15:39

Turkey remains committed to an agreement with Russia regarding the purchase of its S-400 missile defense batteries while negotiations are ongoing with the Washington for Patriot systems, the country’s defense industry chief said on Thursday.

"We are a serious country, our deal with Russia continues, we also negotiate with the US," Turkish Defense Industries (SSB) President İsmail Demir said.

THE DELIVERY COULD TAKE PLACE IN JUNE

Demir said the country's defense industries were on the same page as Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who had previously said that Ankara does not intend to delay or suspend the purchase. He added that the delivery of the S-400 missile system had already been discussed with Russian officials and delivery could take place in June -- earlier than initially planned. Bilateral negotiations with the US will continue, Demir said, without revealing further details.

Tensions between the US and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile system of Russia. US officials have suggested Turkey buy the US Patriot missile system rather than the S-400, arguing it is incompatible with NATO systems and is a threat to the F-35 fifth-generation stealth aircraft.

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