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Russia commends Turkey’s intent to use S-400 systems for country’s defense — Lavrov

"We highly appreciated Turkey’s principled position on developing military and technical cooperation," the Russian Foreign Minister said

ANTALYA, June 30. /TASS/. Moscow highly values Ankara’s position on developing military-technical cooperation with Russia and its intent to use the first regiment of S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defense systems to ensure its defense capability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday.

"We highly appreciated Turkey’s principled position on developing military and technical cooperation, including the intent of our Turkish friends to use the first regiment of S-400 ‘Triumf’ surface-to-air missile systems for ensuring the country’s defense capability," Russia’s top diplomat said.

S-400 deal and the ensuing pressure

Moscow and Ankara inked a deal in 2017 on the delivery of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system to Turkey, thereby making it the first NATO member to purchase this air defense missile system from Russia.

Ankara’s decision to purchase the Russian-made system infuriated the United States and NATO. So far, Washington has not abandoned its efforts to make Turkey give up the Russian air defense system.

Turkey has not caved to US pressure and said that it would keep the S-400 system. Washington has responded by excluding Ankara from the US program of developing the fifth-generation F-35 fighter-bomber.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed in October last year that Ankara was not going to give up the S-400 system, despite Washington’s pressure.

Russia’s S-400 ‘Triumf’ (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the latest long-and medium-range surface-to-air missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, and can also be used against ground installations. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of up to 400 km and at an altitude of up to 30 km under intensive enemy fire and jamming.