by WorldTribune Staff, December 28, 2017
A deal in which Turkey would purchase the S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia is “almost finalized,” according to the head of Russia’s state-run Rostec corporation.
The proposed $2.5 billion deal “has caused concern in the West because Turkey is a member of NATO but the Russian missile system cannot be integrated into NATO’s military architecture,” Reuters reported.
Rostec chief Sergei Chemezov told the Kommersant newspaper that “Russia will supply Turkey with four divisions of S-400 surface-to-air missile divisions for $2.5 billion under a deal that has been almost finalized.”
Chemezov said Turkey would pay for 45 percent of the deal’s cost up front with Moscow providing loans to cover the rest, Reuters noted.
Russia is expected to begin deliveries of the S-400 to Turkey in March 2020, Chemezov said.
Relations between Turkey and Russia have warmed despite the two being on opposing sides of the Syrian conflict. While Russia has supported Syrian President Bashar Assad, Turkey has backed anti-Syrian regime rebels.
The war against the Islamic State (ISIS) has strained the relationship between NATO allies Turkey and the United States, at times placing them on opposite sides of the conflict.
The United States has assisted Kurdish forces fighting ISIS in Syria despite Turkey’s insistence that the Kurds are terrorists.