Turkey has put down a deposit on S-400 missiles to Russia: Erdogan
Turkey has already paid a deposit to Russia for the purchase of the S-400 anti-ballistic missile system despite opposition from its NATO allies, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, underlining that both Ankara and Moscow were committed to accomplish the sale process of the high-tech defense equipment.
“Our friends have already signed [an agreement on] S-400s. A deposit has also been paid, as far as I know. The process will continue by the transfer of a credit from Russia to us. Both Mr. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and myself, we are determined on this issue,” Erdogan told journalists on his return from Kazakhstan on Sept. 10.
Erdogan’s remarks debunked some news reports published in different Western newspapers that suggested that Turkey will backtrack from purchasing Russian-made anti-ballistic missiles system as they wouldn’t be interoperable with NATO’s radars.
But Erdogan denied these reports, stressing that no other country has the right to discuss Turkey’s sovereign and independent decisions in upgrading its defense.
“It’s us who will make decisions regarding our independence. We are responsible over taking security measures for the defense of our country. We’ll save ourselves if we face difficulties in procuring defense systems,” he said.
Recalling that Turkey’s demands to purchase drones from allied countries have not been positively responded to as they were seeking enormous amounts of money, Erdogan said, “They give tanks, cannons and armored vehicles to the terror organization but we can’t procure some of our needs, although we want to pay the price. What happened in the end? We started to produce our own drones and armed drones. We have killed 90 terrorists [with the armed drones] in the last week,” referring to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which the U.S. has been funding in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).