Presidency comms director Altun refutes Bild report claiming Turkey scrapped S-400 deal

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 10.05.2019 21:27
Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems drive on Red Square in Moscow on May 7, 2019 during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade. (AP Photo)
Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems drive on Red Square in Moscow on May 7, 2019 during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade. (AP Photo)

Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun on Friday refuted a report by a German daily claiming Turkey has decided against the purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems.

Bild's foreign policy editor Julian Röpcke on Friday tweeted a "scoop," saying, "Diplomatic sources tell @BILD, Erdogan will not buy the S-400 from Russia." The German journalist added a link to Bild's report titled "Erdoğan makes a surprising missile back-out."

Responding to Röpcke, Altun told him that their sources "are mistaken."

"Take it from me: The S-400 procurement is a done deal," the Turkish official stressed.

Bild's report comes amid mounting U.S. pressure on Turkey to withdraw from the S-400 deal with Russia worth $2.5 billion. Following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success, Ankara decided in 2017 to purchase the S-400.

Turkish officials refuse to back down from the planned purchase of the Russian systems, which the U.S. insists would create a risk that could harm NATO allies, although the military bloc previously indicated that the acquisition is Turkey's sovereign decision and does not contradict Ankara's membership in NATO.

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