Moscow will start shipping its S-400 air defense missile systems to Turkey this summer, the chief of Russia’s state arms trade agency said. The deal is going through as Ankara ignores pressure from its ally, the US.
Aleksandr Mikheyev of Rosoboronexport told Russian media on Wednesday that all issues pertaining to the contact have been “settled,” and Russia and Turkey are now working on its execution.
The delivery will begin in July.
Earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin ordered a shipment of the S-400s to Ankara to be accelerated.
Turkey chose to stick with the contract despite intense pressure from its ally Washington to scrap the deal. US officials and lawmakers said that getting Russian-made weapons will undermine NATO’s security. The Pentagon suspended delivery of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, saying that Ankara will not get the promised planes unless it refuses to take the S-400s.
Turkish officials, meanwhile, strongly rebuffed all attempts to derail the deal with Russia and insisted that the nation is free to buy arms from whoever it wants. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu argued that Ankara may order more S-400s if the Pentagon refuses to sell US-made Patriot air defense missile systems to Turkey.