Lavrov: Russia risks nothing by selling S-400 to Turkey
Russia runs no risks by selling air defense systems S-400 to Turkey, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the forum Russia - a Country of Opportunities on Thursday, TASS reports.
"I don’t think we should feel any fears here," he said.
"The agreements that have been achieved on Syria are unprecedented. We managed to unite three players who have very different vision of the situation in Syria and who pursue very different aims in the region - Russia, Turkey and Iran. But the awareness we all live side by side and should respect each other’s interests and seek agreements that will enable us to pursue along this foreign policy track in a way that will prevent these interests from colliding but ensure they can be reconciled somehow is a greatest achievement," Lavrov said.
In particular, Lavrov said that the policy of strategic partnership pursued by the Russian and Turkish leadership testified to the "wisdom of the leaders who make such decisions."
"Turkey is our neighbor. Quarreling with neighbors is wrong. This is a profound conviction of mine. Equally wrong is setting neighbors against each other," Lavrov said.
"The projects we have been working on with Turkey in the trading and economic sphere (Turkish Stream and nuclear power plant project) - are long-term undertakings designed to last for years and decades, and the economic basis, as we have seen in a number of other regions, are the best guarantee to ensure countries should work together and never plunge into confrontation that nobody needs," Lavrov concluded.
In November 2016, there were reports Turkey and Russia were in talks over an S-400 export deal. Russia confirmed the conclusion of the contract on September 12, 2017. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan then said that a deposit had been paid. Turkey will become the first NATO member-country to have purchased the S-400 system from Russia. There has been no confirmation from official sources of the number of S-400 sets to be provided.
Earlier, Russian presidential aide for military-technical cooperation Vladimir Kozhin said the contract to deliver S-400 systems to Turkey would begin to be implemented at the beginning of 2020.