Deployment of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems would commence in April, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, during his meeting with the journalists in the wake of Moscow talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
“They [S-400] already belong to us. In April, we will begin deploying them,” Erdogan said, according to Yeni Safak newspaper.
The Turkish President underscored that Ankara does not reject the US-made Patriot air defense systems.
“I said yesterday and will repeat again that we have told the Americans: ‘if you ship us he Patriot systems, we will buy them, too’,” Erdogan pointed out.
In September 2017, Russia announced a deal on S-400 shipment signed with Turkey with a net worth of 2.5 billion. The first shipments have begun on July 12, 2019. Both the US and NATO actively oppose the deal. On July 17, the White House spokesperson announced that Turkish decision to procure S-400 makes its participation in the F-35 program impossible.