MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Ankara has no intention to revise its deal with Russia on S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, despite some countries’ pressure, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
The Turkish president made this statement aboard his presidential airliner while returning from his visit to Ukraine. The fragments of his interview with journalists were cited by the NTV television channel.
"The S-400 issue remains an important aspect of our relations with Russia. There is no talk about our backtracking on the S-400 purchase deal," Erdogan said, replying to a question about how the sanctions imposed by some countries might have their impact on the agreement.
The Turkish president also drew attention to bilateral trade with Russia, which "possibly, is in its lowest point today but still amounts to $20-25 billion."
Russia announced in September 2017 that it had signed a $2.5 billion deal with Turkey on the delivery of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Ankara. Under the contract, Ankara will get a regiment set of S-400 air defense missile systems (two battalions). The deal also envisages partial transfer of production technology to the Turkish side.
Turkey is the first NATO member state to purchase such air-defense missile systems from Russia. The deliveries of S-400 air defense systems to Turkey began on July 12, 2019.
The United States and NATO have been making attempts to prevent Turkey from purchasing Russia's S-400 missile systems. Washington has warned on many occasions that it may impose sanctions on Turkey, if Ankara presses ahead with the S-400 deal. On July 17, the press secretary of the US White House said in a written statement that Turkey’s decision to acquire Russian-made S-400 air defense missile systems rendered Ankara’s further participation in the US program of F-35 fighters impossible.
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 weapons, 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.