Russian made S-400 missile defense systems are set to arrive in Turkey as early as next week.
“You’ll see it next week. I wouldn’t tell the date, but our president gave a certain time. The first week has passed, [and] we are entering the second week of July. There you will also see it coming in next week; you will see the activities,” Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defense Industries İsmail Demir told reporters when asked about the delivery of S-400 systems.
Demir was referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s earlier statement that the Russian systems will arrive in Turkey in the second week of July.
“The location of the system is something that the Turkish Armed Forces will decide according to their own assessment. But in the current planning, there is no plan to purchase S-400s to change the equation in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.
Tensions between the United States and Turkey have escalated in recent months over the purchase of the Russian-made S-400s, with Washington stressing it will jeopardize Turkey’s role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger sanctions.
U.S. officials urged Turkey to buy U.S. Patriot missiles, arguing S-400s would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35s to possible Russian subterfuge.
“The United States has consistently and clearly stated that Turkey will face very real and negative consequences if it proceeds with its S-400 acquisition, including suspension of procurement and industrial participation in the F-35 programme and exposure to sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA),” a State Department spokesperson said.