Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov has stated that Ankara can conclude a new deal with Moscow on the additional supply of the Russian S-400 missile systems to Turkey before the end of this year.
“They have the right to do so, and if they express a desire, we will conclude the agreement”, Borisov told reporters on Wednesday.
The statement follows Turkish Undersecretary for Defence Industries Ismail Demir’s announcement earlier in June that Moscow and Ankara reached an accord in principle on the delivery of the second batch of the S-400s.
According to him, the two countries only need to clarify the details on the transfer of technology and the roadmap for the joint production of the missile systems' parts in Turkey.
Demir was cited by the Turkish newspaper Milliyet as saying in May that “the deployment of the S-400 [in Turkey] continues” and that “some missile systems have been put into operation”.
The remarks were preceded by Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin saying that in April, Turkey was unable to deploy the S-400 air defence systems it obtained from Russia last year due to COVID-19, but that it will ultimately do so at a later date.
US-Turkish Row Over S-400
This comes amid ongoing tensions between Turkey and the US in connection with Ankara’s drive to go ahead with the S-400 deployment, described by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a “done” deal.
The White House has repeatedly threatened to sanction Turkey over the S-400s, even deciding to suspend the delivery of fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets to Ankara.
The US claims that the Russian missile systems are incompatible with NATO security standards and may compromise the operations of its fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets, allegations that Turkey vehemently rejects.
Moscow and Ankara signed a loan agreement for the supply of the S-400s to Turkey in September 2017. Russia completed the first shipment of S-400 components to Turkey in late July 2019, with Erdogan stating at the time that the S-400s will be fully operational in the country by April 2020.