Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 14
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Turkey won’t abandon the purchase of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) in exchange for the acquisition of the US Patriot SAMs, head of the Turkish parliamentary commission on international affairs Volkan Bozkir said, Trend reports with reference to the Turkish media.
He said that Ankara is committed to agreements with Russia regarding the purchase of the S-400 SAMs.
“If the US offers Turkey reasonable prices, Ankara may also purchase the US Patriot SAMs,” said Bozkir.
On Jan. 17, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the delivery of the Patriot SAMs to the Turkish Armed Forces is linked with a number of issues.
Cavusoglu pointed out that one of such issues is the date of delivery of the US SAMs, with the other being the possibility of their purchase through a loan.
He pointed out that Turkey also intends to organize production of the American Patriot SAMs, as agreed with Russia, which also intends to supply the Turkish Air Force with its S-400 SAMs.
Previously, the US administration made a decision to sell the Patriot surface-to-air missile systems to Turkey for a total of $3.5 billion.
The US is actively taking steps to prevent the purchase of Russian S-400 SAMs by Turkey. Washington has warned Ankara, in particular, that in case of acquisition of these systems from Moscow, the US may refuse to sell its fifth-generation F-35 multi-role combat aircraft to Turkey.
The initial reports of negotiations between Russia and Turkey regarding the S-400 came in November 2016. The signing of a contract was confirmed by the Russian side on Sept. 12, 2017.
The Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar stated that the deployment of S-400 is set to begin in October 2019.
As stated by Sergei Chemezov, head of the Russian State Corporation Rostec in December 2017, S-400 costs around $2.5 billion for Ankara.
Turkey is the first NATO member to acquire SAMs of such type from Russia.
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