Erdogan defends before NATO the choice of S-400 systems by Ankara

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TURKEY (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Speaking to his allies in NATO, the Turkish head of state once again defended the purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems by his country.

Ankara considers unacceptable the attempts to question Russia’s acquisition of S-400 anti-aircraft missiles by Turkey, said Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a meeting of the Atlantic Alliance’s Mediterranean Dialogue.

According to the Turkish leader, the relations that his country has established and maintains with different countries do not oppose each other, but complement each other.

“I consider unacceptable attempts to stir up controversy around the purchase of S-400,” Erdogan quoted Turkish daily Hürriyet as saying.

End of 2017, Ankara has signed with Moscow a contract estimated at more than 2.1 billion euros for the delivery of S-400, scheduled for July 2019. According to the Turkish Minister of National Defense, Hulusi Akar, Ankara will begin to deploy the S-400 on its territory next October.

Washington has warned Ankara that the deal with Moscow could call into question the purchase of F-35 stealth fighters at Lockheed Martin. Yet Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised that his country would not come back on the decision to buy S-400s.

In late April, the Turkish leader proposed to Donald Trump to set up a joint working group devoted to the S-400.

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