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Turkey seeks deal with US regarding Russia S-400 defence system

Russian Antonov AN-124 Russian transport aircraft, carrying the first batch of equipment of S-400 missile defense system, arrives at Murted Air Base in Ankara, Turkey on July 12, 2019 [Turkey’s National Defense Ministry / Handout - Anadolu Agency]
Russian Antonov AN-124 Russian transport aircraft, carrying the first batch of equipment of S-400 missile defense system, arrives at Murted Air Base in Ankara, Turkey on 12 July 2019 [Turkey’s National Defense Ministry / Handout - Anadolu Agency]

Washington's position regarding Turkey's purchase of Russia's S-400 missile defence system remains unchanged, new agencies reported an official from the US State Department saying yesterday.

The White House believes Moscow may acquire and use classified information on US and NATO weaponry should Turkey implement use of the Russian system, posing a serious risk to the alliance, Al Jazeera reported.

The US also says Turkey's purchase of the Russian system provides substantial funds to Russia's defence sector.

In an interview with the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said: "There is no decision to use them [S-400s] constantly."

He also said that the missiles could be deployed only if Turkey comes under threat.

"We will open negotiations for a model used for the S-300s in Crete," he said referring to Greece's use of the Russian S-300 missile system despite it also being a member of NATO after a deal was made in 1997.

The US argued, according to the Turkish newspaper, that the S-400 could be used by Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the Lockheed Martin F-35 jets. Turkey has consistently maintained that the S-400 structures would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.

The Russian-made S-300 system has been sold to 20 countries, including NATO members Bulgaria and Slovakia in addition to Greece, the Turkish paper said.

READ: Turkey launches new military operation in Iraq

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