Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık confirmed that Turkey was considering purchasing Russian S-400 missile systems, adding that the country’s own air defense system was required for Turkey’s need to protect itself permanently from possible airstrikes.
The defense minister said that the Russian S-400 missile systems were the best option for a temporary solution at the moment.
Asked how NATO would react to such a cooperation, the defense minister said that he believed NATO would understand Turkey’s move, as even some NATO member have been using non-NATO systems.
Işık also announced that Turkey had launched a new program, which would focus on the country’s own air defense systems.
The Russian Tass news agency reported on Tuesday that Sergei Chemezov, the CEO of state corporation Rostec, said talks were underway for Turkey to purchase Russian S-400 missile systems. “Turkey is interested in S-400 systems. Talks are underway, the key issue is financing,” Chemezov reportedly said to journalists on the sidelines of the IDEX 2017 international defense exhibition.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also stated on Tuesday that negotiations for the S-400 air defense missile system with Russia were “continuing positively.”
The first foreign buyer of Russian S-400 missile systems was China and the corresponding contract between Moscow and its southeastern neighbor was reportedly signed in the spring of 2015. According to media reports, the deal cost $3 billion. In October 2016, Russia also signed an intergovernmental agreement on S-400 supplies with India.