Russia to start deliveries of S-400 to Turkey in July
Russia says it will start delivering its S-400 anti-missile system to Turkey in July, despite US warnings against the move.
“Everything has been already discussed and agreed,” the head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheev told Interfax on Wednesday.
This comes as Washington has repeatedly warned that it would suspend all deliveries and activities related to Turkey's procurement of F-35 stealth fighter jets and Patriot surface-to-air missile systems, if Ankara seals its S-400 deal with Russia.
The Turkish government, however, has so far refused to back down from its purchase.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu emphasized that his country would look for “the best technology” elsewhere, if the US fails to transfer the F-35 fighters.
Turkey has ordered 30 F-35s and plans to buy over 100 in total. It has, at the same time, signed a $2.5 billion deal with Russia for the purchase of the S-400 missile defense systems.
The Pentagon has recently halted the delivery of equipment related to the F-35 to Turkey.
Leaders of the US Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees have also warned Turkey that it risks tough sanctions if it pursues plans to acquire the S-400 system.
The missile defense system, whose full name is the Triumph Mobile Multiple Anti-Aircraft Missile System (AAMS), is an advanced Russian missile system designed to detect, track, and destroy planes, drones, or missiles as far as 402 kilometers away. It has previously been sold only to China and India.