Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there is no reason for the United States to worry following reports that Turkey is negotiating the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems, the Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday.
“Why would it be worrying? Every country needs to take certain measures for its own security,” the agency quoted Erdogan as saying.
Erdogan stressed it was important for Turkey to choose a partner for co-production of the S-400 Triumph and added that negotiations on the anti-ballistic missile system were mostly complete.
The Turkish president made the comments a day after the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Joseph Dunford, said that Turkey’s purchase of the Russian air defense system “would be a concern, were they to do that, but they have not done that.”
However, on July 18, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik confirmed that the negotiations regarding Russia’s delivery of S-400 to Turkey have reached the final stage.
“The S-400 solution stems from [Turkey’s] urgent requirement,” Isik said.
Rostec, the Russian company brokering the deal, has also said that Ankara and Moscow agreed on all technical matters.
The S-400 surface-to-air missile system made its debut in 2007. It can track and engage as many as 300 targets simultaneously at an altitude of up to 27 km.