Turkey defends deal with Russia, says 'will take its own security measures'

Turkey defends deal with Russia, says 'will take its own security measures'

Turkey defends deal with Russia, says 'will take its own security measures'

"We make the decisions about our own independence ourselves, we are obliged to take safety and security measures in order to defend our country", he said.

"I and Mr. Putin are determined on this issue", he added.

The total value of the deal is believed to be around $2.5 billion. The Pentagon has already expressed its dissatisfaction with the arms deal.

Turkish officials said in April that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations had not presented a "financially effective" offer on alternative missile defense systems.

Turkey has been developing stronger ties with Russian Federation and souring on its relationship with the United States, which has supported the YPG Syrian Kurdish rebels during the Syrian civil war, the BBC News reported. Ankara considers YPG as linked to the Kurdish PKK group.

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"No NATO ally now operates the S-400", the official noted, adding that: "NATO has not been informed about the details of any purchase".

Erdogan's remarks follow a statement from the US State Department on Tuesday which voiced concerns over Ankara's purchase of the Russian missile system.

The air-defense system has a range of 250 miles, and can hit up to 80 targets at once.

Turkish officials are concerned that the missiles could be used by the Assad regime in case of a unilateral military conflict or an global military intervention, while the possibility of the missiles falling into the hands of a terrorist group poses greater danger. Defense observers speculated that Turkey played the China card to put pressure on its allies and get better terms for buying a NATO-compatible SAM system, such as the US-made Patriot PAC-3.

In recent years, Turkey has sought to build its domestic defense industry to reduce reliance on foreign suppliers. Almaz-Antey is also developing a complementary medium-to-long-range system in the S-350E, which will also use the S-400's 9M96E (60 km) and 9M96E2 (120 km) missiles.

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