S-400 missile deal with Russia to be finalized: Erdoğan

S-400 missile deal with Russia to be finalized: Erdoğan

S-400 missile deal with Russia to be finalized: Erdoğan

The purchase of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia will be finalized “this week,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Dec. 11.

“Our colleagues will come together this week to conclude the work,” Erdoğan said during a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ankara.

The S-400 is Russia’s most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets including ballistic and cruise missiles.

The system can track and engage up to 300 targets at a time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers (17 miles).

On the topic of trade, Erdoğan said cooperation between Ankara and Moscow was getting stronger “day by day.”

“Our bilateral trade volume with Russia increased 30 percent in the first 10 months of 2017. We have a harmonious working environment at the political level,” said Erdoğan.

The two leaders have met eight times this year. Erdoğan said Ankara and Moscow would hold a seventh High-Level Cooperation Council meeting in 2018.


Trade relations

Meanwhile, Putin said obstacles to trade and economic ties had been removed.

“Within the first eight months [of 2017], Turkish agricultural exports to Russia increased by 1.8 percent,” said the president.

Moscow imposed sanctions on Turkey following the downing of a Russian jet over the Turkish-Syrian border in November 2015.

Turning to the Middle East, Erdoğan said Russia and Turkey were in agreement on the issue of Jerusalem.

“We believe in the same approach as Putin. We agreed to keep in contact on this issue,” Erdoğan said.

The Turkish president added that Israel saw U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as its capital as a chance to increase oppression and violence against the Palestinians.

“It is not possible for someone who possesses conscience, morals, principles and values to ignore these murders,” he said.

The shift in U.S. policy has sparked demonstrations across the Muslim world. Putin said the U.S. decision destabilized the dispute between Israel and Palestine instead of contributing to its settlement.

“The status of Jerusalem should be addressed through direct contact between Israel and Palestine,” Erdoğan said.