Erdogan, Stoltenberg start bilateral talks
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 6
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg have started direct bilateral talks in Ankara, Trend reports with reference to Turkish media.
It is reported that Ankara’s buying Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems is the main topic of discussions. During the meeting, regional issues are also expected to be discussed.
Earlier, Turkey’s Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar said that the US offered Turkey more favorable terms to purchase Patriot missile defense systems. Akar noted that Ankara is considering this proposal from Washington.
He also added that the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems do not pose a threat to NATO and the US, which is well understood in Washington.
On April 29, it was reported that Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems will be delivered to Turkey in two cargoes. The first cargo of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems will be delivered in June this year, and the second one in July, according to the report. It is expected that in November 2019, the first F-35 fighters will be delivered to Turkey.
As was announced earlier, Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems may be installed in the south and west of Turkey.
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 would 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 NATO member state to receive the S-400 air defense systems from Russia.
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