Russia to Start Supplying Turkey with S-400 Air Defenсe Systems in 2 Months - Rostec CEO
ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) - Russia will begin deliveries of advanced S-400 air defence systems to Turkey in two months, Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Rostec state corporation, said.
"Everything is in order. I think, we will start deliveries in two months. Advance payments have been made, a loan has been drawn up. Loan money has been spent, the equipment has been manufactured. Plus, we have already completed the training [of Turkish personnel]", Chemezov said in an interview with NTV television on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
The statement comes after Acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan has formally informed Turkey that it will not be allowed to buy F-35 fighter jets if it goes ahead with plans to purchase Russian S-400 air defence systems.
"While we seek to maintain our valued relationship, Turkey will not receive the F-35 if Turkey takes delivery of the S-400", Shanahan wrote in a letter to his Turkish counterpart Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal.
Shanahan has also reportedly given his Ankara counterpart Hulusi Akar an ultimatum that all Turkish pilots currently training in the United States to fly the F-35 jet must leave the country by 31 July. He has shut down training on the F-35 for all new Turkish students, Foreign Policy magazine said, citing as its source a senior US defence official speaking on condition of anonymity.
This week, top US diplomats and military officials have stepped up their warnings that if Turkey goes ahead with buying the Russian S-400 air defence system, they will cancel the sale of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Ankara. The first S-400s are due to arrive in Turkey this month.
Also on Friday, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Tod Wolters said the S-400 system was not interoperable with NATO systems and may attempt to exploit F-35 capabilities.
In December 2017, Moscow and Ankara signed a loan agreement for the delivery of the S-400 air defence systems to Turkey. The first shipments of the S-400 are expected in June. In spite of the US threats to impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkish officials have said that purchasing of military equipment is a sovereign right and ruled out the possibility of abandoning plans to acquire the S-400 systems.
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