June 13, 2018 / 04:14 PM
Turkey to use Russian S-400 missile system ‘if necessary’: Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Ankara could use the S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries it has agreed to purchase from Russia “if necessary,” according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

 “We will not just buy the S-400s and put them in a warehouse. We will use them if need be. This is a defense system. What are we going to do with it if not use it? Are we going to depend on the US again? We have been demanding a missile defense system from the US for years, but the US Congress has refused to approve any such purchase. We are tired of this,” Erdogan said.

 “Russia has responded with a pretty enticing offer. They even said they would allow joint production. They have also offered us good loan terms. This is how we’re proceeding at the moment,” said Erdogan during a joint live broadcast by private TV channels TGRT Haber, TVNET, Beyaz TV and Akit TV in Istanbul.

Turkey and Russia signed the S-400 agreement in December, finalizing a deal intended to deepen military ties between NATO member Turkey and the Kremlin.

A top Turkish official was previously quoted as saying that Russia will deliver the first batteries of the S-400 anti-ballistic missile system in July 2019.

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