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Turkey is safely protected from air threats after acquiring Russia’s S-400s, Putin says

The Russian president noted the feasibility of Turkey joining the G7
S-400 long-range air defense systems Sergei Malgavko/TASS
S-400 long-range air defense systems
© Sergei Malgavko/TASS

VLADIVOSTOK, September 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he believed that Turkey after the purchase of Russian-made S-400 long-range air defense systems is safely protected from air threats and its role on the international arena and in the region is on the rise.

"Turkish President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan recently spoke with me," Putin told a plenary session of the 2019 Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Russia’s Vladivostok.

"Expressing his reaction to this situation [Russia’s possible joining the G7 and the revival of G8] Erdogan said: ‘Why did not you raise an issue of Turkey joining as well?’" Putin continued.

"I believe that since Turkey purchased S-400 systems and is now safely protected from air threats, the work of Turkey will be certainly in demand and in place in such a format, taking into account its role in international affairs and in the region," the Russian president added.

The first reports about the talks between Russia and Turkey on the deliveries of S-400 air defense missile systems came out in November 2016. Russia confirmed in September 2017 that the relevant contract worth $2.5 billion had been signed. 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 first battalion of S-400 air defense systems was delivered to Turkey’s Murted Air Base in Ankara by 30 military transport planes on July 12-25.

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.

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.

2019 Eastern Economic Forum

The Eastern Economic Forum, established in 2015, is held annually in Vladivostok. It serves as a platform for debating key issues concerning the world economy, regional integration, and the development of new industrial and technological sectors, as well as global challenges facing Russia and other nations.

Events at the EEF traditionally take place in the form of panel sessions, roundtables, televised debates, business breakfasts, and business dialogues devoted to Russia’s relationship with different countries.

In 2018, 220 agreements, contracts, memorandums and protocols worth over 3 trillion rubles ($45 bln) were signed at last year’s EEF, which was attended by over 6,000 delegates from 60 states.

This year’s forum is taking place on September 4-6. TASS news agency is the event’s general information partner, the official photo hosting agency and moderator of the presentation zone focusing on the Russian Far East’s innovation opportunities.