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Middle East

Erdogan says advanced Russian S-400 missile will begin arriving in July

Turkey’s president says advanced Russian S-400 missile defense systems will begin arriving in the country in July, despite threats by the United States over the defense exchange.

“I think they will start to come in the first half of July,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkey’s NTV broadcaster on his way back from a multi-national security summit in Tajikistan. “We discussed the S-400 subject with Russia. Indeed, the S-400 issue is settled.”

Turkey and Russia finalized an agreement on the delivery of the S-400s in December 2017, two years after the US decided to withdraw its Patriot surface-to-air missile system from the Turkish border with Syria.

Ever since, Washington has been warning Ankara against going ahead with the purchase, including by threatening to remove it from a multilateral program aimed at manufacturing the US’s F-35 warplanes.

Several Turkish industrial giants are partaking in the program, and Turkish pilots have trained in the US to fly the aircraft.

Recently, however, the US stopped training the pilots over Ankara’s refusal to halt the purchases.

On Monday, the US House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution that urges Turkey to reverse its decision to buy the S-400s and that calls for sanctions if Turkish officials continue with the acquisition.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has condemned the measure as “unacceptably threatening.”

Washington and some other NATO members allege that the Russian systems are “incompatible” with the rest of the equipment used by the members of the alliance, including Turkey. Ankara says they are not.

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