Russia ‘confident’ of Turkey’s commitment to S-400 deal

MOSCOW (AA): Turkey is committed to its deal with Moscow to purchase S-400 missile defense system, a senior Russian official said Wednesday.

Ankara has “distinctly” fulfilled its obligations undertaken under the contract, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov told reporters in the capital Moscow.

Dismissing the possibility that Turkey may backtrack on the sale due to U.S. pressure, Borisov said: “We have no concerns.”

Turkey decided in 2017 to purchase the S-400 system following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success.

The U.S. announced Monday that it would be suspending all “deliveries and activities” related to Turkey’s procurement of the F-35 stealth fighter jet over Ankara’s plans to purchase Russia’s S-400 system.

U.S. officials have suggested that Turkey should buy U.S. Patriot missiles rather than the Russian system, arguing the S-400 is incompatible with NATO systems

U.S. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Tuesday he expects to resolve the dispute between the U.S. and Turkey over the S-400s.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in Washington that plans to purchase the missiles were a “done deal”, and U.S. President Donald Trump had said previously that he would “take care” of the F-35 deal.

Turkey first joined the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program in 2002 and has invested more than $1.25 billion. It also manufactures various aircraft parts for all F-35 variants and customers.

The two F-35s already delivered to Turkey are currently at Luke Air Force Base, where Turkish pilots are being trained. The jets were scheduled to be transferred to Turkey in November this year.

Shanahan said he expects that they will be delivered.