Turkey is set to buy Russian-owned missile defence systems, marking the NATO member’s first major weapons purchase from Russia.
The S-400 anti-aircraft missile launching system seen at a display [A Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images]
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, announced on Tuesday that “signatures have been made” for the acquisition of the S-400 surface-to-air missile defence equipment, aljazeera gathered.
Anticipating potential concern among Turkey’s fellow NATO members over the deal, Erdogan said Turkey would continue to “make the decisions about our own independence ourselves”.
“We are obliged to take safety and security measures in order to defend our country … Nobody has the right to discuss the Turkish republic’s independence principles or independent decisions about its defence industry,” he said.
Russia confirmed the agreement, with Vladimir Kozhin, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adviser for military cooperation, saying: “The contract has been signed and is being prepared for implementation.”
Kozhin told Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency that all aspects of the deal “strictly comply with our strategic interests”.
“For this reason, we fully understand the reactions of several Western countries which are trying to put pressure on Turkey,” he said.