Kremlin Spokesman: Russia Presses Ahead with the S-400 Sale to Turkey Despite the U.S. Offer
MOSCOW, the Russian Federation, (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Yesterday (19th December), Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, stated that contract with Turkey on the delivery of S-400 would be continued despite the approval of the U.S. State Department for a possible sale of a rival U.S. Patriot missile system to Ankara, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
On a conference call, Dmitry Peskov told the reporters that Russian and U.S. transactions were not related and they should be seen as separate from each other. Given this fact and that the agreements have already been reached, he noted that Russia was pressing ahead to fulfill the terms of the supply contract signed with Turkey for the advanced S-400 missile air defense systems.
In a response to a question whether Russia is concerned that Ankara might share sensitive data about the S-400s with its NATO partners, Kremlin spokesman expressed trust in his Turkish colleagues saying that they won’t disclose secrets about the Russian missile air defense systems, a term that the Russian-Turkish contract on S-400 purchase also stipulates.
“As a rule, Russian defense military and defense cooperation with other states necessarily envisages legal obligations on non-disclosure of certain categories of information, of sensitive data related to this cooperation. In case with the Turkish side, there are such obligations as well… We don’t see any grounds not to trust our Turkish colleagues,” Peskov added.
On Tuesday (18th December), the Pentagon announced that the U.S. State Department had approved a possible sale of Patriot air and missile defense systems to Turkey, amounting to $3.5 billion, after the Congress was notified of the certification.
In December last year, Turkey has already concluded a loan agreement with Russia for the purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defence systems and the deliveries are expected to start in 2019.
This was met with disapproval expressed by the U.S. and NATO member countries, repeatedly warning Ankara that the Russian S-400s cannot be integrated into the NATO air and missile defense system. Earlier, the U.S. said that if Turkey continues with the plans to buy the Russian S-400, this would threaten its purchase of the U.S. F-35 fighter jets and possibly would result in Washington imposing sanctions.
In response, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the deal with Russia was “a done deal” that could not be canceled, but added that Turkey wanted to acquire further defence hardware and this time it could be bought from the U.S.
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Sources: Sputnik News, Reuters