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Turkey shrugs off worries over Russian defense system

Turkey shrugs off worries over Russian defense system”

A Turkish newspaper is quoting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying that both Ankara and Moscow are committed to Turkey's purchase of S-400 missile defense systems from Russian Federation. "Wait for you? We are taking security measures and will continue to do so", Erdogan said Wednesday while in Ankara, according to state-owned Anadolu Agency.

"They went insane just because we made the S-400 deal", Erdogan told a meeting of city mayors from his ruling party in Ankara.

Erdogan said Monday that Turkey had already paid a deposit for two batteries of the advanced missile systems. The deal is said to be worth around $2.5 billion.

The S-400 is Russia's most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets including ballistic and cruise missiles.

Before gravitating towards Russian Federation, the Turkish military walked out of a $3.4 billion contract for a similar Chinese system.

"We have relayed our concerns to Turkish officials regarding the potential purchase of the S-400".

Russia and Turkey have signed a contract for Ankara to purchase the Russian-made S-400 missile defence system, the Kremlin confirmed on Tuesday.

"The purchase of military equipment by Turkey is a sovereign choice which does not need to be commented (upon) by members of the Atlantic alliance", Foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne said in response to a question on whether this was a blow to the alliance.

His explanations, however, did not stop the outpouring of criticism from the USA and other members of the military alliance.

"Turkey is a key NATO Ally, and we are committed to our strong defense partnership", Defense Department spokesperson Johnny Michael said in an email.

Erdogan remained defiant, making it clear on Tuesday that "nobody has the right to discuss the Turkish republic's independence principles or independent decisions about its defense industry". Turkey commands the second largest standing military inside of 29-member-state-NATO.

The spat has prompted Germany to restrict its arms sales to Turkey.



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