Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Russian S-400 air defense systems may be installed in the south and west of Turkey, Trend reports referring to Turkish media.
According to preliminary reports, they may be installed in western Turkey and the provinces bordering the Aegean Sea, as well as in the province of Hatay on the border with Syria.
The Turkish National Defense Ministry has not yet commented on this matter.
Turkey's National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said earlier that Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems may be deployed in Ankara or in Istanbul.
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.
Initial reports of negotiations between Russia and Turkey on the supply of S-400 surfaced in November 2016. The signing of a contract was confirmed by the Russian side on September 12, 2017. Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the S-400 air defense systems will be deployed from October 2019. The supply of the S-400 air defense systems to Ankara cost $2.5 billion, head of the Rostec state corporation Sergey Chemezov said in December 2017. Turkey is the first country, a NATO member to receive the S-400 air defense systems from Russia.
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