Turkey expects to receive the first batches of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems before the end of the next year, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a NATO forum in Brussels on Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reported.
“The first deliveries of the S-400 system to Turkey will take place before the end of 2019,” the Turkish foreign minister said. Cavusoglu highlighted that the purchase of the S-400s from Russia does not mean that Ankara plans to move away from NATO.
In mid-June, a military-diplomatic source told TASS that Russian defense plants were ordered to end the production of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems in May 2019 for deliveries to Turkey.
Turkey became the second buyer of the S-400 system, preceded by China. The contract was officially declared to have been signed in September 2017. The systems were initially to be transferred to the Turkish side in early 2020. It emerged later that Ankara asked to fast-track the deliveries.