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Official says it's up to Turkey as NATO member to decide on purchase of Russian S-400

The contract to supply S-400 to Turkey had been approved
S-400 air defense systems Vitaliy Nevar/TASS
S-400 air defense systems
© Vitaliy Nevar/TASS

BRUSSELS, July 26. /TASS/. Turkey, being a NATO member, has the right to independently decide whether to buy the S-400 air defense systems, a NATO official told TASS on Wednesday.

"It is up to Allies to decide what military equipment they buy. No NATO ally currently operates the S-400, and NATO has no confirmation or details of the Turkish purchase," the NATO official said.

Speaking to the Turkish parliament on July 25, President Erdogan stated that Moscow and Ankara had inked a deal to supply the S-400 air defense systems to Turkey. "We have made steps on this issue with the Russian Federation. Signatures have been put and I hope that we’ll see S-400 missiles in our country. We’ll also request the joint production of these systems," the Haber 7 TV channel quoted Erdogan as saying.

According to Erdogan, "Turkey has been unable for years to get what it wanted from the United States" with regard to the purchase of air defense missile systems and "has been forced to shop around." "And this [the accords on S-400 systems] is the result of such searches. Greece, which is a NATO member, has been using the S-300 systems for many years," the Turkish leader said.

Russian Presidential Aide for Military and Technical Cooperation, Vladimir Kozhin, earlier stated that the contract to supply S-400 to Turkey had been approved.