Baku, Azerbaijan, April 16
By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:
Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems may be deployed in Ankara or in Istanbul, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said, Trend reports referring to Turkish media.
Turkey is in dire need of ensuring security of its airspace, Akar said.
He noted that Turkey, just like any other country, is obliged to protect its borders.
Regarding the delivery date of the Russian anti-aircraft missile systems, Akar noted that Moscow had stated that the S-400 complexes would be supplied in June 2019, but so far there is no more accurate data on the date of their delivery.
On April 11, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that specialists from the US and NATO could come to Turkey to make sure that the Russian S-400 air defense systems do not pose a threat to NATO. He noted that Turkey is in dire need of the S-400 air defense system.
"Although the US urges Turkey to abandon the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense missile systems, it does not guarantee that it will sell us Patriot air defense systems," Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that the US believes that Turkey will not be able to have both American F-35 fighter-bombers and Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems at the same time, as this is technically impossible. “According to Pentagon sources, is not possible to launch the F-35 in the space where the S-400 is operated,” he said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey may receive the S-400 missile systems earlier than scheduled. According to him, it was expected that Turkey would receive the first supplies of S-400 missile systems in July 2019.
He noted that despite appeals from the US, Turkey will not abandon the purchase of the S-400.
"This issue has been already resolved by Turkey," said Erdogan.