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  • A Russian serviceman walks past S-400 missile air defence systems in Tverskaya Street before a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade.

    A Russian serviceman walks past S-400 missile air defence systems in Tverskaya Street before a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 September 2019

The Russian Federation made its first S-400 delivery to Turkey in June.

Turkey’s defense ministry informed Sunday that the delivery of the second battery of Russian S-400 missile defense systems has been completed, adding that it would become operational by April 2020 despite United States threats.

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Trump Won't Allow S-400 Deal to Harm Turkish-US Ties: Erdogan

“They (U.S. officials) told us ‘don’t activate them and we can sort this out’, but we told them that we didn’t buy these systems as a prop,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusglu told CNN on Saturday, adding that Turkey would be open to buying U.S. Raytheon Co Patriot systems as well.

Washington's concern with Turkey's acquisition of the S-400 is the latter's membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the threat posed by the missile system to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 ‘stealth’ fighter jets, arguing the missile system is not compatible with NATO defenses.

The Russian Federation made its first S-400 delivery to Turkey in June. A move that prompted Washington to formally remove Ankara from the F-35 program in which Turkey was both customer and producer. 

On Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration has not ruled out and was considering imposing sanctions related to Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 systems.

Back in August, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan stated that he believes his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump will not allow Turkey's S-400 deal with Russia to harm Washington's relationship with Ankara. 

In an interview on Friday, the Turkish president said his personal bond with the U.S. leader could overcome the crisis caused by the S-400s, as well as the possible purchase of Patriot missiles. 

Ties between both countries have been strained over a host of issues, including conflicting strategies in Syria, but the dispute over the Russian systems has brought the NATO allies to the brink of one of the biggest ruptures in ties.

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