18:39 GMT +314 December 2018
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    S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft weapon systems during combat duty drills of the surface to air-misile regiment in the Moscow Region.

    'Done Deal': Turkish FM Says Purchase of Russian S-400 Cannot Be Cancelled

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    S-400 is the next-generation mobile missile system which can carry three different types of missiles capable of destroying a variety of aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range, from reconnaissance aircraft to ballistic missiles.

    US officials have warned that if Ankara goes ahead with its plans to purchase the S-400 system, the United States could withhold the transfer of F-35 jets to Turkey. In addition, the US Congress passed legislation that would block the transfer of F-35 jets.

    According to Reuters, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday that purchase of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in Turkey is a done deal and cannot be canceled, adding that Ankara, however, needs further defense procurement that could be bought from the United States.

    "The current deal is a done deal, I cannot cancel it," Cavusoglu told reporters after meeting with US State Secretary Mike Pompeo as quoted by Reuters. "But I need more… and I prefer to buy from my allies," Cavusoglu said.

    In December 2017, Ankara signed a loan agreement with Moscow envisaging the delivery of the Russian-made S-400 air defense systems to Turkey. Russia's Rostec state corporation CEO Sergey Chemezov said then that the contract envisaged the delivery of four S-400 battalion-size sets worth $2.5 billion, with 55 percent of the contract sum being covered by Russian loans.

    On October 25, Akara said that Turkey would begin the deployment of the S-400s in October 2019.

    The US Department of Defense spokesman Eric Pahon told Sputnik on Monday that the Pentagon was still working with US Congress to  find alternatives to Russia's S-400 air defense systems for Turkey.

    READ MORE: Israel is Capable of Taking Out S-300 and S-400, But Won't Do This – Publicist

    "As we’ve discussed with our Turkish counterparts, the S-400 purchase would have significant consequences or could have significant consequences on the US-Turkey defense relationship. There is a lot of things that that purchase comes along with," Pahon said.

    According to the US-based media reports, sanctions over the purchase of the Russian military equipment could be triggered under the US Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which came into force in 2017 and is set to punish Moscow for it alleged meddling in the US 2016 presidential election, something vehemently denied by Russia.

    CNBC reported last week, citing people with first-hand knowledge of a US intelligence assessment, that at least 13 countries have also expressed their interest in purchasing the Russian S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile systems instead of US equipment. In particular,

    Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam were among the countries that had already engaged in talks on buying the Russian missile systems.

    Accordnig to CNBC military sources, S-400 had been more powerful, in terms of capability, than the US most capable Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

    The Saudi authorities have also reportedly been openly engaged in talks with Russia on the missile system purchase.

    READ MORE: Turkish Lawmaker: Purchase of Russian-Made S-400 System Doesn't Threaten NATO

    Related:

    Pentagon, US Congress Seek Alternatives to Russia's S-400 for Turkey - Spokesman
    Israel is Capable of Taking Out S-300 and S-400, But Won't Do This – Publicist
    State Arms Exporter Explains What Makes Russian S-400 So Unique
    At Least 13 States Mull Buying Russia’s S-400 Despite US Sanctions - Reports
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    deal, purchase, S-400, Turkey, United States, Russia
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