S-400 systems could be delivered to Turkey next week: Defense industries head

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Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defense Industries İsmail Demir on July 4 said the delivery of Russian made S-400 missile defense systems may begin next week.

“You’ll see it next week. I wouldn’t tell the date, but our president gave a certain time. The first week has passed, [and] we are entering the second week of July. There you will also see it coming in next week; you will see the activities,” Demir told reporters when asked about the delivery of S-400 systems. He was referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s earlier statement that the Russian systems will arrive Turkey in the second week of July.

Elaborating on the comments that Turkey purchases S-400 systems for its geostrategic plans in the Eastern Mediterranean, Demir said Turkey does not buy the systems for that aim.

“The location of the system is something that the Turkish Armed Forces will decide according to their own assessment. But in the current planning, there is no plan to purchase S-400s to change the equation in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.

“But Turkey can take action where necessary when it is necessary to use a product in his hand,” he added.

Asked about U.S. threats to impose sanctions if Turkey completed the purchase, he said Turkey has taken steps to prepare for such a scenario.

“These sanctions are more or less known. We take measures against them. This will not deter us but strengthen us,” he stated.

Tensions between the United States and Turkey have escalated in recent months over the purchase of the Russian-made S-400s, which Washington has said will jeopardize Turkey’s role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger sanctions.

Following protracted efforts to purchase an air defense system from the United States with no success, Ankara decided in 2017 to purchase the Russian system.

U.S. officials urged Turkey to buy U.S. Patriot missiles, arguing S-400s would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35s to possible Russian subterfuge.

Washington has warned Turkey that moving forward with the purchase would trigger sanctions under the Countering American Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, which was passed in 2017 to impose sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia and combat those countries’ influences across the globe.

Hurriyet Daily News

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