23:41 GMT31 March 2020
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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - Russian-made S-400 air defence missile systems will enter service in Turkey in April, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

    "S-400 [systems] are already ours. We are continuing to learn to work with them. The air defence missile systems will be ready to be used in April. Yesterday, I told [Russian colleagues], that if the United States supplies us with Patriot air defence systems, we will buy them too", Erdogan said, as quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper.

    The statement comes after US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison stated that the United States hopes Turkey will give up Russia's S-400 air defence missile systems due to the development of the situation in Syria. 

    Deliveries of the S-400 missile defence systems to Turkey, which has caused a crisis in Washington-Ankara relations, started in July 2019. The United States has demanded that Turkey cancel all purchases of the Russian-made systems, saying that it expected Ankara to purchase US-made Patriot missile defence systems and threatening to delay or cancel any deliveries of F-35 fighter jets. Turkey has refused to make concessions.

    The US has repeatedly objected to Turkey's S-400 purchase, saying that the weapon system is incompatible with NATO security standards and might compromise operations of the new F-35 fighter jets.

    Tags:
    F-35, air defence, air defence system, S-400, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia, Ankara, Turkey
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