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ANKARA, May 10. /TASS/. Turkey is holding more intensive negotiations with Russia on the purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and is discussing technical aspects and the price, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said in a live broadcast of NTV television channel on Wednesday.
"At their negotiations in Sochi (May 3), the presidents of Turkey and Russia discussed this theme. Now we have intensified the talks on some technical details and prices. As soon as the price issue is settled, our heads - the president and the prime minister - will make a final decision," he said.
As the Turkish defense minister noted, "the project for the purchase of S-400s is urgent for Turkey as it needs to strengthen its air defense capabilities."
"However, in the future, we must develop our own air defense system. The work on it has begun and continues. It involves the leaders of our defense sector and our goal is to create systems with the maximum use of domestic developments and components," Isik said.
Speaking about NATO’s position on Turkey’s talks with other countries on air defense systems, the minister noted that Turkey did not quite understand the alliance’s attitude.
"We constantly say at the NATO venue that they don’t agree to the transfer of technologies in the sphere of air defense systems to us, do not make price concessions but criticize us when we look for alternatives and hold negotiations with other countries," the minister said.
Russia’s S-400 Triumf is the newest long-range antiaircraft missile system that went into service in 2007.
It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and can also be used against ground objectives.
The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.