Russia signs contract with Turkey on 2nd batch of S-400s as talks continue over financial terms

Russia has signed a contract on the delivery of the second regiment of S-400 air defence systems to Turkey and the two sides are in talks over the contract’s financial terms, Russian TASS news agency reported on Sunday, citing the head of Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheyev.

Ankara and Moscow are discussing "the financial arrangement of implementing the contract," which has been signed, it quoted Mikheyev as saying. 

The timeframe of implementing the contract would depend "on our partners’ readiness to finally resolve the procedural issues with the financing of this project," the chief executive said.

NATO allies Turkey and the United States have been at odds over Ankara’s purchase last year of the Russian S-400s, which Washington says is compatible with the alliance’s defence systems. Washington maintains the presence of Russian systems on NATO-allied territory could leave the F-35 jets open to subterfuge.

Turkey received its first shipment of the system in July of last year, prompting Washington to suspend it from the F-35 fighter jet programme, halt its order of 100 of the new-generation jets, and begin procedures to sanction the country under a 2017 legislation designed to discourage countries from arms deals with Russia.

Turkey has yet to activate the systems, citing delays brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, but says it will turn them on as planned.