Turkey in talks with Russia to purchase S-400 air defense missile system

Turkey confirms it is actively pursuing S-400 system, reportedly willing to spend $3.4 billion; Turkey confirms negotiations under way with Russia

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Turkey is in negotiations with foreign states, mainly Russia, to purchase its advanced S-400 air defense missile system as Turkey continues to pursue development its long-range air defense capabilities.

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik confirmed that Turkey and Russia are currently negotiating the arms deal, Isik stating “Our talks on S-400 are not only held with Russia, but also with other countries that have similar systems. Russia’s position on this issue now is positive,” adding that Turkey hopes “that the NATO member states consider this topic very seriously…. But this does not mean that we will ignore Russia’s proposals. We are pushing ahead with proactive work in this direction. Our ultimate goal is to start producing these systems on our own.”

Turkey’s Undersecretary of Defense Industries Ismail Demir stated that “We have already made clear that we will be in cooperation with countries and companies that would lend support to us throughout this process. We have said our doors are open and that we are willing to cooperate.”

According to reports, Turkey is reportedly willing to spend up to $3.4 billion on the missile defense system purchase.

The Russian S-400 missile defense system is capable of destroying aerial targets from all ranges and has tracking technology for cruise and ballistic missiles and projectiles.

Russia continues to rise as the major arms provider in the Middle East, particularly in missile defense systems. Last week, reports surfaced that Russia and Iran are currently negotiating a second massive arms deal, reportedly at $10 billion.

Last week, the head of Russia’s Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, Viktor Ozerov, confirmed that talks “are ongoing, the ground has been prepared, the portfolio amounts to around $10 billion… The U.S. and its allies will obviously try to block these deliveries, but we will continue these talks”, referring to delivery of such arms deals as subject to approval by the United Nations Security Council until 2020 as per Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

The report of the future arms deal comes while Iran insists that it will continue to develop its missile program “with the framework of Iran’s defense policies”.

Last Tuesday, Bahram Ghasemi of Iran’s Foreign Ministry met with EU officials in Brussels, the officials calling on Iran to refrain from any future ballistic missile tests. Ghasemi stated at that time “Iran’s defense capabilities cannot be compromised and are under no circumstance negotiable. Missile tests are conducted within the framework of Iran’s defense policies.”

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