HELSINKI, May 17. /TASS/. Ankara is ready to accept the delivery of S-400 missile systems as soon as Russia is ready to deliver them, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated on Friday.
"As soon as Russia is ready to deliver them to us, we will be ready to accept them," he told reporters in response to the question on whether the first deliveries may be carried out in July.
The news about the Russian-Turkish talks on the purchase of S-400 systems first came in November 2016. The Russian side confirmed that the contract had been signed on September 12, 2017. Concurrently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ankara had made an advance payment. Turkey is going to become the first NATO member state to purchase an air defense weapon of this class from Russia.
US officials warn that Turkey’s contract to purchase S-400 missile systems from Russia will severely damage bilateral relations and lead to unilateral US sanctions against Ankara.
Earlier, the Pentagon informed that in order to remain in the F-35 fighter jet program, Turkey needs to drop the purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems.