First Published: 2017-09-12

Turkey signs deal to buy Russian S-400 missile systems
Deal for surface-to-air missile defence batteries is Ankara's most significant pact with non-NATO supplier.
Middle East Online

Erdogan said Turkey was free to make military acquisitions based on its defence needs

ISTANBUL - Turkey has signed a deal with Russia to buy S-400 missile defence systems in its first major weapons purchase from Moscow, Turkish newspapers Tuesday quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying.

The accord for the surface-to-air missile defence batteries is Ankara's most significant pact with a non-NATO supplier.

"Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia. A deposit has also been paid as far as I know," Erdogan said in comments published in the Hurriyet daily and other newspapers.

"(Russian President Vladimir Putin) and myself are determined on this issue," he told journalists.

The purchase of the missile systems from a non-NATO supplier will raise concerns in the West over their compatibility with the alliance's equipment.

The Pentagon has already sounded alarm, saying bluntly that "generally it's a good idea" for NATO allies to buy inter-operable equipment.

Erdogan said Turkey was free to make military acquisitions based on its defence needs.

"We make the decisions about our own independence ourselves, we are obliged to take safety and security measures in order to defend our country," he said.

Moscow also confirmed the accord, with Vladimir Kozhin, Putin's adviser for military and technical cooperation, saying: "The contract has been signed and is being prepared for implementation."

He said that the S-400 was one of the most complex systems, made up of a whole range of technical materials.

"I can only guarantee that all decisions taken on this contract strictly comply with our strategic interests," he was quoted as saying by Russian state-owned TASS news agency.

"For this reason we fully understand the reactions of several Western countries which are trying to put pressure on Turkey," he added.

Russia's relations with NATO have been in crisis over its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and for backing pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Turkey, a NATO member since 1952, has currently troubled ties with the United States over a number of issues including Washington's support of the People's Protection Units (YPG) Syrian Kurd militia which Ankara considers a terror group.

 

At least 235 killed in Egypt mosque attack

Saudi Crown Prince calls Iran supreme leader 'new Hitler'

Syrian opposition agrees to send united delegation to Geneva talks

Saudi-led coalition clears passenger flights to Sanaa

Baghdad's Shabandar cafe marks century since opening

Turkey says Trump pledged to stop arming Kurds

Turkey president sues main opposition party leader

Lebanon's Hariri brings status quo back with him

Activists say 'everybody knew' about Libya slave trade

Erdogan says no contact 'at the moment' with Assad

Lebanon's Jumblatt criticises Saudi Arabia, Iran

China says it will make efforts on Syria reconstruction

Turkey to detain 79 former teachers in post-coup probe

Hezbollah hails PM's suspension of resignation

Syrian opposition aims for unity at talks in Riyadh

Egypt police kill 3 Islamists in shootout

Turkey unsure if Assad to be part of Syria political transition

Migrant arrivals from Libya down since EU deal

Palestinian factions leave Cairo talks with little progress

Sudan’s Bashir looks to Putin for ‘protection’ from US aggression

China, Djibouti forge 'strategic' ties

IS propaganda channels fall quiet in 'unprecedented' hiatus

Kremlin to create Syria congress despite Turkey ‘reservations’

Netanyahu berates deputy minister for 'offensive' remarks on US Jews

Egypt PM heads to Germany for medical treatment

Egypt destroys 10 SUVs carrying arms on Libya border

Outrage in Iraq over 'child marriage' bill

Iraq launches operation to clear last IS holdouts from desert

Saudi-led coalition to reopen Yemen airport, port to aid

Turkey court rules to keep Amnesty chief in jail

France calls for UN meeting on Libya slave-trading

Egypt detains 29 for allegedly spying for Turkey

WTO panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against UAE blockade

Three dead as diphtheria spreads in Yemen

Lebanon’s Hariri suspends resignation

Israel seizes explosive material at Gaza border

Activists call for release of UK journalist held by IS

Bahrain upholds jail sentence for activist

Iraq attacks at lowest since 2014

Turkey continues crackdown in post-coup probe

Hariri back in Lebanon

Putin to hold Syria peace talks with Erdogan, Rouhani

US carries out air strikes against IS in Libya

Divided Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt ahead of return home