01:59 GMT20 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Federal Service of Military‑Technical Cooperation has refuted media reports claiming that Turkey plans to expel Russian technical experts accompanying the contract on the S-400 missile system, in order to satisfy a US demand to end the presence of the nation's personnel.

    "The return of Russian technical experts who are in Turkey in connection with the S-400 contract will be carried out in accordance with a previously approved schedule", the defence cooperation agency's spokeswoman, Valeria Reshetnikova, told Sputnik.

     Russian S-400 long-range air defense missile systems
    © AP Photo / Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press
    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusolgu previously told reporters during a visit to Athens the fact that other countries are demanding Turkey ditch the S-400 air-defence systems it purchased from Russia is unacceptable. 

    Ankara signed a deal with Moscow to purchase its S-400 air-defence systems in 2017 and the first deliveries began in July 2019. The deal sparked a row between Ankara and Washington because Turkey also participated in the US F-35 programme and was waiting for delivery of its fighter jets.

    The US says Turkey won't be sent the aircraft unless it backtracks on the S-400 deal with Russia – Washington says the Russian systems are incompatible with shared NATO defences and threaten its F-35s, while Ankara insists that the S-400s will operate independently of NATO defences. 


    S-400, Military, Turkey, Russia
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