The purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems doesn’t mean that Ankara turned away from NATO, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said, Trend reports with reference to Turkish media.
Akar said that Turkey needs S-400 missile systems and won’t refuse to buy them.
He noted that Turkey is still an important member of NATO.
Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the US and NATO specialists may visit Turkey and make sure that the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems do not pose a threat to NATO.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey may receive the S-400 missile systems in July 2019, which is earlier than scheduled. He stressed that despite appeals from the US, Turkey will not abandon the purchase of the S-400.
Initial reports of negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the supply of S-400 appeared in November 2016. The signing of a contract was confirmed by the Russian side on September 12, 2017.
Akar said that the S-400 air defense systems would be deployed from October 2019.
Turkey is the first NATO member state to receive the S-400 air defense systems from Russia.
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