ANTALYA, March 29. /TASS/. The deal between Turkey and Russia on S-400 air defense missile systems remains in force and Moscow and Ankara are in talks on the timeframe for their deliveries, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said after negotiations with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Friday.
"The contract with Russia on S-400s remains in force and these defensive systems will be delivered to Turkey. Now talks on this issue are underway," the Turkish foreign minister said.
"We are not going to sell S-400s to third countries. We do not need this as we are acquiring them for our own needs," Cavusoglu said, responding to a journalist’s corresponding question.
As the Turkish foreign minister said, Turkey’s NATO allies failed to offer appropriate terms for the delivery of similar systems while Ankara had held negotiations and reached a deal with Moscow.
It was reported in November 2016 that Turkey was in talks with Russia on purchasing S-400 air defense missile systems. The contract’s signing was confirmed by the Russian side on September 12, 2017 and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced at the time that Turkey had already made an advance payment under the contract.
In mid-June 2018, a source in military and diplomatic circles told TASS that Russian defense enterprises had been assigned the task of completing the production of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in May 2019 for their delivery to Turkey.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in early March that the process of deploying Russian advanced S-400 air defense missile systems in Turkey would begin in October and the Air Force was studying the areas where it would be better to deploy them.
The S-400 Triumf is the most advanced long-range air defense missile system that went into service in Russia in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles, and can also be used against ground installations.
The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km.