Turkey’s president hopes Washington changes its mind on S-400 deal

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MOSCOW, February 27. /TASS/. In an interview with the Turkey’s NTV channel, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope that Washington would eventually change its mind on Turkey’s plans to buy S-400 missile defense systems from Russia.

“At present, relevant agencies conduct all the necessary talks, and will continue to do so, including a speech before the Congress. I hope that this wrongful approach by the United States would change,” he said, commenting on the possibility of US sanctions over the deal.

According to the Daily Sabah newspaper, US and NATO representatives have said that the Russian missile systems could not be integrated into NATO’s network of missile and air defenses. They also said that the purchase of S-400 will put at risk Turkey’s plans to buy US-made Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, and may even trigger Washington’s sanctions.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country “has the right to use various air defense systems” and that other nations have no right to criticize Ankara for its choice. According to the Turkish leader, the republic expects first deliveries of Russian S-400 missile systems in July of this year.

The news about the Russian-Turkish talks on the purchase of S-400 systems first came in November 2016. The Russian side confirmed that the contract had been signed on September 12, 2017. Concurrently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ankara had made an advance payment. Turkey is going to become the first NATO member state to purchase an air defense weapon of this class from Russia.

US Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell stated in June of last year that Turkey’s contract to purchase S-400 missile systems from Russia would severely damage bilateral relations and lead to unilateral US sanctions against Ankara.

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