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    Russia's S-400 air defense system

    Best Option? Why Turkey Chose Russian Missile Systems Over NATO Foot-Dragging

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    Ankara is ready to conclude an arms agreement with Russia, a country which it considers ready to meet Turkey’s defense needs, a Turkish MP told Sputnik, commenting on his country's agreement to buy Russian S-400 missile systems.

    In an interview with Sputnik Turkey, Murat Baybatur, press secretary of the Turkish parliament's Defense Committee, gave his thoughts on the Ankara-Moscow deal on Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems and the West's reaction.

    Commenting on German and Austrian plans to stop selling arms to Turkey, Baybatur expressed regret over their unwillingness to help Ankara tackle terrorism and the threat of Turkish territorial integrity.

    "Germany and the Netherlands first deploy the Patriot missile systems in Adana and Gaziantep and three months later, they withdraw them from Turkish territory. It's time to act on our own. Thanks to the purchases of [Russian] S-400 systems, our state will be able to resolve its urgent tasks in the field of defense and national security," Baybatur said.

    He described Russia as Turkey's neighbor, which has historical ties with Ankara and which "managed to create one of the most developed and reliable air defense systems in the world."

    "Turkey pays money for the S-400 and there is nothing that could cause concern in this situation. If someone is concerned about this process, let them provide Turkey with the Patriot system or other missile systems," he added.

    Baybatur also commented on the Pentagon's statement about America's intention to "speed up the process of Turkey being supplied with the defense systems that meet NATO standards." According to him, this is a "very remarkable" statement.

    "The whole world knows that we have discussed the purchase of the S-400 systems with Russia. We discussed all the details, made an advance payment, with Russia behaving very constructively on this issue. The West apparently believed that Turkey and Russia would not be able to conclude such a deal. And now that the agreement is signed, they began offering to provide Turkey with weapons that can be integrated into the NATO system," he said.

    According to Baybatur, "if the United States, Western countries and NATO are sincere in their intentions regarding the supply of air defense systems, then we must see their concrete actions in this direction."

    "In addition, the use of such NATO systems is not an obstacle to the purchase of the S-400 by Turkey. We can use both of them, and there is no problem. But thus far, Western countries have consistently misled us on the issue, using all sorts of excuses. And they started talking about speeding up the work on this matter only after Turkey made its final decision. Go ahead please, if you want; the S-400 does not interfere with this," he concluded.

    The Russia-Turkey talks on the delivery of S-400 systems started last year. On Tuesday, the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation announced in a statement that Moscow and Ankara had reached an agreement on the issue.

    In turn, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara had made the first payment for the delivery. In turn, the Pentagon expressed concern over the issue, saying that a NATO interoperable missile defense system would be the "best option" for Turkey.

    The S-400 Triumph is a next-generation mobile surface-to-air missile system that can carry three different types of missiles capable of destroying aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range. It is designed to track and destroy various types of aerial targets, from reconnaissance aircraft to ballistic missiles.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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