Russia vows no delay in delivery of S-400s

Russia vows no delay in delivery of S-400s

Russia vows no delay in delivery of S-400s

Russia will start delivering its S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey in July, Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport head Alexander Mikheev said April 24, according to Interfax news agency.

“Everything has already been discussed and agreed,” Mikheev told Interfax.

The U.S. has threatened to impose sanctions if Turkey seals its S-400 deal with Russia.

But Ankara has said its purchase should not trigger sanctions as Turkey is not an adversary of Washington and remains committed to the NATO alliance.

Washington suggested Ankara purchase the U.S. Patriot missile systems rather than the S-400s from Moscow, on grounds that it would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge. Washington warned Ankara of its purchase of the S-400 system and last week suspended the delivery of parts and other services related to F-35 jets.

Turkish media recently reported that Ankara seeks to find a formula to avoid U.S. sanctions like deploying the S-400s to a third country such as Qatar and Azerbaijan.

Turkey’s procurement of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems is a “done deal” and there is no “interim formula” of the deployment of them to third parties, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters April 23.

He reiterated that the S-400 systems Turkey bought would constitute no threat to NATO systems or “see them as the enemy,” in efforts to reassure Washington and NATO over security concerns.

Meanwhile, Çavuşoğlu and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar had a meeting on April 24 with the participation of bureaucrats and generals in order to discuss Turkey’s procurement of S-400 systems and the delivery of the F-35 fighter jets.

On the other hand, Turkey seeks to have high-level talks with the U.S. amid accelerating tension with its NATO ally on the issue of S-400 systems. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 23 that a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump is possible soon.     

His remarks came in a special reception marking April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day after he was asked whether a meeting with Trump was in question any time soon. “Maybe. He [Trump] asked for an appointment. [The meeting] maybe nowadays,” Erdogan told reporters at the presidential complex in the capital Ankara.    

The last meeting between the two presidents was in December last year on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Argentina.

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