Turkey to get deal done on Russia’s S-400, US threats notwithstanding
Turkey says it will complete the purchase of the second set of the Russian S-400 missile system despite repeated warnings from Washington that a deal could lead to sanctions.
“The date of the purchase of the second set of S-400s is just a technical question. I think it will happen before too long,” RIA news agency cited an unnamed security and foreign affairs official in the Turkish presidential administration as saying.
Last month, the head of the Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said Moscow hopes to seal a deal to supply Turkey with more S-400 systems in the first half of next year.
Moscow and Ankara finalized an agreement on the delivery of the system in December 2017.
The first part of the delivery was completed in late July, when 30 planeloads of hardware and equipment were transferred to Murted Airfield Command.
According to Turkey’s Defense Ministry, the systems would become operational in April 2020.
Ankara and Washington have been at loggerheads over the purchase of S-400, which the United States says is not compatible with NATO defenses and poses a threat to Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusglu told CNN Turk television news network in an exclusive interview in mid-September that S-400 would be activated regardless of what the White House says.
On September 9, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Donald Trump’s administration was considering imposing sanctions on Turkey over the tale of S-400. No decisions have been made so far.
The treasury said it would impose such bans under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).