Russia, Turkey Sign S-400 Deal despite Criticism and Suspicion

Russia, Turkey Sign S-400 Deal despite Criticism and Suspicion

Ankara's relations with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Germany, hit by a deepening row, are expected to improve alongside a general upturn in ties with the European Union early next year, boosting Turkish export and tourism prospects, an adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Reuters.

"They went insane just because we made the S-400 deal. So what? Are we going to wait for you?"

He cited the reluctance of USA and Israel to authorize supply of combat drones to Turkey as another example of how Turkish security was sidelined by its allies. "We are responsible for taking security measures for the defence of our country", he said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

The S-400 is Russia's next-generation, most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system.

In a written statement, spokesperson for Pentagon Johnny Michael said they had shared their concerns with Turkish officials regarding the purchase of S-400. In 2013, Ankara surprised other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members by announcing that it was going to purchase the FD-2000 system from China, sparking criticism from Washington.

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Erdogan also said: "Greece, which is also a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country, has been using S-400 for years". As the dispute unfolded, the USA in 2015 withdrew its Patriot missiles from Turkey's border with Syria after a two-year deployment.

Relations between Turkey and Germany have been tense for months, with Turkey accusing Germany of harboring people with alleged links to last year's failed coup as well as outlawed Kurdish militant groups. Ankara has been angered by USA support for the YPG Kurdish fighters in the battle against Islamic State in Syria.

The S-400 is Russia's next-generation air defense system, carrying three different types of missiles capable of destroying aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range.

Some media reports have said the deal could be worth up to $US2.5 billion ($A3.1 billion).

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