11:24 GMT25 February 2021
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - A group of Turkish military personnel has arrived in Russia to learn operating Russian S-400 air defence systems, Turkish Defenсe Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday.

    "A group of our military has been sent to Russia in order to learn operating S-400s and they have already started their studies", Akar said, as quoted by the Turkish NTV broadcaster.

    The statement comes after NBC News reported that Washington had requested Turkey reject the deal with Moscow by the end of the first week of June, warning there would be negative consequences, including sanctions.

    READ MORE: Turkey RULES OUT Russian-Made S-400 Integration With NATO Infrastructure

    Washington has threatened Ankara with sanctions for its planned acquisition of S-400s and has repeatedly said it may delay or cancel the process of selling its F-35 aircraft to Turkey. Ankara, in its turn, has said that purchase of military equipment is its sovereign affair and has ruled out the possibility of abandoning its plans.

    Moscow and Ankara signed in December 2017 a loan agreement for the delivery of S-400 systems. The first delivery of S-400s to Turkey is expected in June. Turkish cooperation with Russia on S-400 deliveries has been strongly criticized by NATO and the United States, which has cited security concerns and incompatibility of S-400s and NATO's air defence systems.


    US Requests Turkey Pull Out of S-400 Deal With Russia by June - Reports
    Turkey to Stick to S-400 Agreement – Russian Upper House Speaker
    Ankara Ready to Receive Russian-Made S-400 'Any Moment' - Foreign Minister
    Turkey RULES OUT Russian-Made S-400 Integration With NATO Infrastructure
    US Introduces Resolution Urging Turkey to Cancel S-400 Purchase or Lose F-35
    S-400 deal, S-400, missile defense system, F-35 fighter jet, S-400, Hulusi Akar, Turkey, US, Russia
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