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US offer of air defense system Patriot not good enough for Turkey — media

Turkey cannot accept the terms and details of the United States’ proposal in their current form

MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Turkey cannot accept the terms of the United States’ current offer of air defense systems Patriot, the chief of Turkey’s Defense Industry Directorate, Ismail Demir, told the NTV television broadcaster.

"We asked the United States for Patriots. The reply to our request followed 18 months later. We cannot accept the terms and details of the United States’ proposal in their current form," he said. Demir added that active negotiations were continuing with the American side and "there are certain aspects (of a future contract) that have to be cleared up."

About the outlook for receiving Russia’s air defense systems S-400 Demir said that "the systems will begin to be delivered in July and go operational by October."

At the first stage Ankara will get two systems. In response to the United States’ criticism against Turkey over the purchase of Russian air defense systems Demir said the Defense Industry Directorate was in charge of only technical aspects of the affair, while decisions in other fields were made by different government institutions.

On December 18, 2018 it was announced that the US Administration had made a decision to sell air defense systems Patriot for 3.5 billion dollars. At the same time Washington was exerting pressures on Ankara over its purchase of Russia’s S-400s.

The first reports Russia and Turkey were in talks over the S-400 emerged in November 2016. Russia confirmed the conclusion of the contract on September 12, 2017. Turkey’s National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the deployment of S-400s would begin in October 2019. The head of the public corporation Rostec Sergei Chemezov in December 2017 said the value of the S-400 contract with Ankara stood at $2.5 billion.