Turkey expects the second batch of Russian S-400 missile system supplies to be delivered in 2020, a senior Turkish official has told a private broadcaster.
“The second batch of [S-400] supplies may begin at the end of the year,” Turkey’s Defense Industry Directorate İsmail Demir said on July 31.
“In the second system, there is a series of steps including co-production, technology transfer and software integration, and the achievements of the first system should be integrated with the second system, too,” he added.
Demir also stressed that control over the systems will “absolutely” be carried out by Turkey. The necessary “processes” to ensure Turkey’s full control will take place in the first months of 2020, he added.
No ‘problem for NATO’: FM
The Russian S-400 anti-air missile system does not pose a problem for NATO, the Turkish foreign minister said on July 30.
“We have no problem with NATO. As is clear from the NATO secretary general’s statements, the S-400 does not pose a problem for NATO,” Turkey’s Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told foreign reporters at the 52nd meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers in Thailand.
“Turkey is contributing to NATO’s operations in many ways. These issues have never been brought up at any NATO summit,” said Çavuşoğlu, adding that S-400 is an issue of Turkish-U.S. relations rather than Turkish-NATO relations.
Since 2017, Turkey and the United States have been at odds over Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400, a Russian-made missile defense system, and U.S. has threatened to break its contract to sell Turkey F-35 fighter jets over the dispute.
The United States claims the S-400 will be incompatible with NATO systems, an argument Turkey disputes.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that it is up to Turkey to make its own decisions on weapons systems purchases.
Çavuşoğlu later met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.
Hurriyet Daily News