19:34 GMT +319 January 2020
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    WASHINGTON Sputnik) - Greece considers Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems as a problem for the region, Greek Minister of National Defence Evangelos Apostolakis said at a defence conference on Thursday.

    “This is one of the problems because S-400s from the Turkish side put the air defence systems in the area in a different situation", Apostolakis told the audience at the US Institute for Peace in Washington.

    Apostolakis explained that Greece will now have to conduct defence plans in a different manner in order to factor in the presence of new weapons systems.

    READ MORE: India Vows to Go Ahead With S-400 Contract Despite US Sanctions Threat

    "F-35 [jets] and S-400 completely change the power in the area", Apostolakis said.

    In December 2017, Moscow and Ankara signed a loan agreement for the delivery of the S-400 air defence systems to Turkey. The first shipments of the S-400 are expected in June.

    The United States and its NATO allies have criticized Turkish military cooperation with Russia, saying the S-400 air defence systems present security concerns given their incompatibility with those in use by NATO.

    Turkey is one of the participants in the US F-35 jet program. The United States has threatened Turkey with sanctions for its planned acquisition of S-400 air defence systems and repeatedly said it may delay or cancel sales of F-35 aircraft to Turkey.

    READ MORE: Erdogan: US Patriot Offer 'Unfortunately Not as Good as S-400s'

    Turkish officials have said that purchasing military equipment is a sovereign right and have ruled out the possibility of abandoning plans to acquire the S-400 systems.

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