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Turkey: President says no U-turn on Russian S-400 deal

President of Turkey and the leader of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the crowd during a rally in Yenimahalle district of Ankara, Turkey on 14 March 2019. [TURKISH PRESIDENCY / MURAT CETINMUHURDAR / HANDOUT - Anadolu Agency]
President of Turkey and the leader of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the crowd during a rally in Yenimahalle district of Ankara, Turkey on 14 March 2019. [TURKISH PRESIDENCY / MURAT CETINMUHURDAR / HANDOUT - Anadolu Agency]

Turkey’s president said Thursday that Turkey will not make a U-turn on its deal to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We finished this business. For us, taking a step back here is out of the question,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told news channel Haberturk about the purchase.

In an interview, Erdogan said Russia will deliver the missiles this July.

He added that Turkey is also not closed to offers from the US on purchasing Patriot air defense systems.

US officials have suggested that Turkey should buy US Patriot missiles rather than the Russian system, arguing the S-400 is incompatible with NATO systems.

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But Turkish officials countered that Ankara will not go back on its agreement with Russia, even if it were to also buy Patriots, and also complained that up to now its allies have been unwilling to sell it missile defense.

Patriot missiles are used for defense purposes to shoot down incoming missiles and attack planes.

On the economy, Erdogan said despite rising challenges in global economy, Turkey has the capacity to show “positive growth rates” beginning in the second quarter of the year.

“We have left crises behind us,” he stressed.

Erdogan said this year will see development move to a “much better place” for Turkey.

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NATONewsRussiaTurkeyUS
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