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Turkey at 'final stage' with Russia over S-400 missile system - Defence minister
April 21, 2017 / 8:02 AM / 7 months ago

Turkey at 'final stage' with Russia over S-400 missile system - Defence minister

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s talks with Russia about the purchase of the S-400 air missile defence system have reached a “final stage”, although this does not mean a deal will be signed immediately, Defence Minister Fikri Isik said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO - Russian S-400 Triumph medium-range and long-range surface-to-air missile systems drive during the Victory Day parade, marking the 71st anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2016. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

Isik also told a news conference that NATO countries have not presented a “financially effective” offer on an alternative defence system. NATO member Turkey in 2015 cancelled a $3.4 billion tender for a long-range missile defence system that had been provisionally awarded to China.

Turkey then said it would consider developing a missile system locally, but that stance later shifted.

“It is clear that Turkey needs a missile defence system but NATO member countries have not presented on offer which is financially effective,” Isik told a news conference.

“Work on the S-400 has reached a final point. But the final stage does not mean ‘let’s sign a deal tomorrow morning’”.

He said Turkey would not be able to integrate the S-400 into the NATO system.

Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Daren Butler

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