12 September 2017
By Justice Nwafor
If reports by Turkish newspapers are anything to go by, then Turkey has reached agreement with Russia for the purchase of S-400 missile defence systems.
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this early Tuesday while fielding questions from journalists revealing in the process that: “a deposit has also been paid as far as I know,” for the surface-to-air missile defence batteries which is also the country’s most significant deal with a non-NATO supplier.
“Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia. A deposit has also been paid as far as I know… Russian President (Vladimir Putin) and myself are determined on this issue,” he said.
The Guardian UK reports that the purchase of the missile systems from a non-NATO supplier will raise concerns in the West over their technical compatibility with the alliance’s equipment. The Pentagon has already sounded the alarm, saying bluntly that “generally it’s a good idea” for NATO allies to buy inter-operable equipment.
In what seems like a quick response to Pentagon’s alarm, Erdogan said Turkey was free to make military acquisitions based on her defence needs.
“Nobody has the right to discuss the Turkish republic’s independence principles or independent decisions about its defence industry,” he said.
“We make the decisions about our own independence ourselves, we are obliged to take safety and security measures in order to defend our country”, Erdogan said.
The Turkish leader said the process would continue with a transfer of Russian credit to Turkey, according to Guardian UK reports.