Russia, Turkey to accelerate efforts to finalize S-400 deal

Published 31.08.2017 00:00

Russia has signaled that efforts will be ramped up in September to finalize the deal between Moscow and Ankara regarding Turkey's purchase of the S-400 air defense system.

Russian diplomatic sources told Daily Sabah that the process for the final signatures would be accelerated in September. Sources said that that there were only a few points left to discuss with regards to details in the process.

Pointing to the finalization of the deal in the near future, Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Director Dmitry Shugaev told the Kommersant newspaper on Aug. 28 that the S-400 air defense system is ready to be delivered to Turkey.

Shugaev stated that the S-400 air defense missile system is now in the phase waiting for delivery to Turkey.

"The S-400 deal with Turkey is not a simple arms-selling deal. We are talking about a critical system. For this reason, there are some key points to the issue," Shugaev said.

"Moscow and Ankara will soon reach an agreement over the remaining points waiting for resolution," he added.

Negotiations over the details of the deal are ongoing after Turkey and Russia agreed over the supply of the air defense system. Ankara is resolute to purchase the system to fulfill its defense needs.

The S-400 is a new generation of Russian missile system, which has so far been sold to China and India.

With the purchase, Turkey will be the first NATO member country to have the S-400 defense system. Turkey aims to build its first long-range air and anti-missile defense system to guard against threats in the region.

Ankara demands that the deal include the transfer of technology to enable Turkey to build its own missile defense system.

Referring to criticism from the U.S. regarding the deal, Shugaev said, "They are reacting to Turkey's decision. However, Turkey is an independent country, and it will decide whether to buy this or not."

The voice of criticism rose from the U.S. after the Turkish president announced the decision to purchase the S-400 air defense system in late July.

"Generally, we think that it is more suitable for allies to buy equipment that can work together in harmony," said Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis on July 31. Davis said they were concerned that there would be a mismatch between the NATO air defense system and the Russian S-400 system.

Ankara objected to the criticism by the U.S., underlining that another NATO member state, Greece, formerly purchased the Russian S-300 defense system and has been using it for years.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan commented on the U.S.'s criticism saying that Turkey needs to take ideal steps to maintain its security, stressing that the U.S. had not responded to Turkey's demands in regard to this issue.

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