Turkey and Russia have reached an agreement in principle on the delivery of Russian-made S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile systems to the Turkish side and are negotiating the price and joint production issues, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.
“We are continuing the negotiations on all the issues related to the S-400, including joint production and the price. We have agreed in principle but I can’t say anything on technical issues,” the newspaper Milliyet quoted him as saying.
Turkey will purchase Russia’s anti-aircraft missile systems as it “needs to strengthen its air defense capabilities,” the minister said.
Speaking about the options of purchasing air defense missile systems from NATO countries, Cavusoglu said that Turkey “would like to buy them from NATO but they [the alliance’s countries] have not demonstrated movement in this direction.”
Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said earlier that “the work on the S-400 has reached a final stage but this does not mean that an agreement will be signed tomorrow.”
It emerged in November last year that Russia and Turkey were negotiating the deliveries of S-400 air defense missile systems and in March this year Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov said that Ankara had expressed its desire to obtain a loan from Russia on buying armaments, including antiaircraft missile complexes of this type.
Chemezov said in February that Turkey was displaying interest in the S-400 systems and the sides were in talks on possible deliveries.
The S-400 Triumf is the most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system that went into service in Russia in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and can also be used against ground objectives.
The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.