Russia, S-400 missiles

Turkey denies new agreement with Russia on S-400 missiles

The United States threatens harsh sanctions against Turkey if Ankara activates the S-400 missile batteries purchased in 2017 from Russia.

Turkey has categorically denied that there is a new agreement with Russia on a new purchase of S-400 defence missiles, assuring that there are no news about it, as confirmed by the Turkish defence ministry.

“The corresponding agreement has already been signed. Among other things, it will allow the local production (in Turkey) of some components of the system (S-400)”, Dmitry Shugayev, director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS), told the Russian agency TASS yesterday, insisting that the signed contract was already being applied.

A spokesman for the Turkish Defense Ministry quickly responded to these statements, insisting that while the contract signed in 2017 between Ankara and Moscow included the delivery of two batches of S-400 missiles (considered among the most advanced in the world), there had been no new progress nor, of course, the signing of an agreement.

“Technical talks about the delivery of the second batch are underway, and these issues include, among other aspects, the involvement of Turkish engineering in the systems, as well as which components will be produced in Turkey, etc. Therefore, there are no concrete developments to report. The process is still going on, and there are no new agreements,” the Turkish official assured.

Turkey and Russia signed an agreement in 2017 to acquire the S-400 missile defence system, after Ankara rejected the offer to acquire Patriot missiles due to the high cost involved. The first S-400 battery was delivered in 2019 amid strong opposition from its NATO allies, which led to Turkey’s expulsion from the new F-35 fighter program and stalled the deal on the acquisition and upgrade of the fleet of F-16s from its air forces. To this day, Turkey has not yet activated the S-400 missiles on its territory, under threat from Washington to impose new and harsh sanctions.