*Photo: Ministry of Defense of Russia
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Yuri Ushakov, an aide for President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, announced yesterday (June 11) that the Kremlin plans to deliver S-400 missile systems to Turkey in July, noting that they will act in accordance with the timetable on the contract with Turkey.
Meanwhile, Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar said that he will speak to US acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan on phone.
Speaking to journalists in Azerbaijan, Akar said that the letter Shanahan sent last week that urges Turkey not to buy the missile systems “is not in line with the spirit of the alliance”.
“I hope that we will exchange views to find out what kind of a roadmap we will pursue regarding this process,” he said.
Akar also said that they plan to have a meeting with Shanahan at the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels this month.
Shanahan sent Akar a letter last week, warning Turkey that if it purchases the S-400s, it would not be able to receive the F-35 fighter jets and have economic problems.
Turkey’s purchase of the S-400s
After the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, Ankara and Moscow began talks for the purchase of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.
Fikri Işık, the then Minister of Defense, said in April 2017 that Turkey “urgently” needs an air defense system and that NATO member countries did not make Turkey a “financially effective” offer.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced in September 2017 that Turkey and Russia signed a contract for the purchase of the missiles. Then Minister of Defense Nurettin Canikli said that they will purchase two systems and four batteries from Russia. The Undersecretary for Defense Industry said that the delivery of the missiles is planned to be completed in the first quarter of 2020. (PT/VK)