MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. Russia will begin implementing the contact on the delivery of S-400 air defense missile systems to Turkey in early 2020, Presidential Aide for Military Cooperation Vladimir Kozhin told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.
"Turkey expressed a wish to accelerate its implementation and we managed to find the most appropriate solution as we agreed to accelerate the contract’s implementation, so I think we will begin to fulfill it sometime in early 2020," Kozhin said.
"As far as Turkey is concerned, we value the Turkish authorities’ position, as they have said many times that protecting national interests is their top priority," the Russian presidential aide pointed out when speaking about NATO exerting pressure on Ankara to make it abandon the idea of purchasing weapons from Moscow. Kozhin noted that "the contract has been signed and will be implemented."
According to him, Russia’s military operation in Syria has made it possible to test "almost all the newly designed weapons and military equipment, including the Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft, short-range air defense systems and anti-tank complexes."
"If you offer to have a look at models and booklets - it is one thing, but weapons texted during military activities is a totally different matter," the Russian presidential aide said. "We did not seek to advertise our weapons through the Syrian operation because it is a war, a tragedy and a catastrophe, but nevertheless we had to enter the country and use our most modern weapons there," Kozhin added. In his view, "all our partners appreciated that," particularly the weapons’ capability to operate in severe weather conditions.
The S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the most advanced long-range antiaircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range ones, and can also be used against ground objectives. The S-400 complex can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.