Turkey: First Russian S-400 air defence shipment continues to arrive

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of the NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue in Ankara Turkey Monday

Later Turkey's Defense Ministry confirmed the first parts of the S-400 Russian missile defense systems were delivered to Ankara.

The minister noted that "in parallel with S-400 supplies, work to train personnel to install and operate these systems will continue in Turkey and Russian Federation".

Esper said he planned to speak to his Turkish counterpart later in the day, and that the Pentagon would have more to say about the dispute afterward. USA officials said last week the administration still plans to impose sanctions on Turkey.

The first parts of a Russian S-400 missile defense system were delivered to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey on Friday, the Turkish defense ministry said, a development set to escalate tensions with the United States which has warned of sanctions over the deal.

Through a law Congress passed in 2017 known as the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA, any country that makes a "significant" deal with the Russian defense industry must come under USA sanctions.

Washington fears that Russian Federation could spy on the advanced US F-35 stealth fighter jet through the S-400 radars.

The S-400 missile system can engage targets independently as well as after receiving data from other radars.

At the time, Trump acknowledged the USA had a "complicated" situation, when it came to responding to Turkey, and noted that possible sanctions were being discussed.

How has Turkey defended its decision to go forward with the purchase?

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Erdogan has expressed confidence that his relationship with Trump will override US sanctions concerns.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Isik has defended the purchase, saying in 2017 as defense minister that Turkey needed a missile defense system and had negotiated with different nations.

The Murted base, northwest of Ankara, was formerly known as Akinci Air Base.

The alliance has repeatedly warned Turkey that the Russian system is incompatible with other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation weapons systems, not least the F-35, a new generation multi-role stealth fighter jet. The Russian Ministry of Defense also shared a video showing the equipment being loaded onto the planes and then being offloaded in Ankara.

"Turkey is not guaranteed to be in the American camp forever". Last week U.S. officials said the administration still planned to impose sanctions on Turkey. Turkey has said the offer does not meet its requirements, including possible future joint production.

The Pentagon is seeking new parts suppliers to replace those coming from Turkey should it buy the Russian defense system.

Turkey's dollar bonds dropped to three-week lows on the news of the delivery, while the cost of insuring exposure to Turkish sovereign debt also rose.

The United States suspended the delivery of F-35 warplane-related equipment to Turkey in April until Ankara ditched the Russian deal, which now appears unlikely.

Experts are especially concerned about the development of the F-35 fighter jet, with which Turkey is involved. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar earlier said that the deployment of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems could begin in October 2019.

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