Russia says S-400 missile components could be made in Turkey
Russia’s presidential spokesman said on Thursday that some components of the Russian S-400 missile systems could be produced in Turkey, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Dmitry Peskov’s announcement came in the midst of escalating tensions between Turkey and the United States over Turkey’s purchase of Russian air defence systems.
"We are not talking about the complete production chain, as it is a new type of weapon. But the production of some components can be organised,” Anadolu quoted Peskov as telling reporters in Moscow.
“The production can be on the territory of Turkey," Peskov said.
Turkish officials have stated several times that technology transfer, co-production and financial support are three conditions for Ankara to buy U.S.-made Patriot systems, offered as an alternative by the United States to the S-400s.
Turkey’s NATO allies object its purchase of Russian S-400 missiles, saying that they are not compatible with NATO systems and could create risks for the security of F-35 jets Turkey is due to receive from the United States. Turkish officials say the S-400 purchase is a done deal.
Leading U.S. senators wrote in the New York Times on Tuesday that Turkey’s purchase of the Russian weapons would require Washington to impose economic sanctions and halt delivery of F-35 fighter jets. Senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez also introduced a bill on Tuesday asking demanding a halt to the delivery of 100 U.S. F-35 fighter jets ordered by Turkey if it completes its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system.
Speaking to reporters on his plane as he returned from a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the delivery of S-400 systems, originally scheduled for July, might be brought forward.
“The job is done, everything is finished,” said Erdoğan.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Wednesday that Ankara would meet its defence needs from elsewhere if necessary, referring to talks with Washington over the purchase of U.S.-made Patriot batteries.
“If the United States is willing to sell, then we’ll buy Patriots. However, if the United States doesn’t want to sell, we may buy more S-400s or other systems,” Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster NTV.