Turkey Meets Pledge to Buy World's Most Powerful S-400 Air Defence Systems From Russia - Erdogan
ANKARA (Sputnik) - The Turkish Defence Ministry announced on Friday the beginning of the delivery of elements of the S-400 to the country. The information was later confirmed by Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation.
Ankara kept its word and bought the S-400, the world's most powerful air defence systems, from Russia, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
"The delivery of the S-400 has begun, 8 aircraft arrived, and everything else will also arrive. What was said about that? That we won't buy, that we won't be capable of it. Did we finally buy it? Yes! In April 2020, these systems will be fully installed. We, the Turks, stand by our word", Erdogan said in a speech on the occasion of the three-year anniversary of the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey.
S-400 is the world's most powerful air defence system, the president stressed. "I hope we will make it together with Russia", Erdogan added.
Moscow and Ankara in December 2017 signed a loan agreement for the delivery of S-400 systems. Turkey's cooperation with Russia has been strongly criticized not only by the United States but also by NATO as they continue to cite concerns over the S-400 systems' incompatibility with NATO's air defence systems.
The United States claims that S-400 systems may compromise F-35 jet operations. Washington announced in June that it would not train Turkish pilots to operate the F-35 jet unless Turkey abandoned its agreement with Russia.
Turkey has insisted it will not give up its $2.5-billion contract with Russia concerning the S-400 systems.
According to media reports, the United States has readied a package of sanctions against Turkey over the procurement of S-400 systems, which it may announce later in July.
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