Turkey's Erdoğan to meet Putin to discuss S-400 delivery in Moscow
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on April 8 to discuss bilateral relations and Ankara's purchase of the S-400 missile defence system, state-run Anadolu Agency said on Friday.
The two leaders will have an intense agenda to address a planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and the delivery of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia to Turkey, according to Anadolu Agency.
"U.S. plans regarding a partial withdrawal of its troops from Syria will be discussed. The next issue is the implementation of a very high-profile project, a contract for the supply of the latest Russian S-400 air defense systems to the Turkish Armed Forces," Anadolu quoted Yury Ushakov as saying.
On April 1 the United States halted shipment of equipment related to the F-35 stealth fighter aircraft to Turkey after Ankara insisted on purchasing Russian S-400 missile systems.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said that the United States is trying to persuade Turkey to drop the S-400 deal with Russia.
"When we see countries like Turkey make a decision to buy an important, significant, not just – not just AK-47s but a significant, complex Russian system, that doesn’t work, and we’re doing everything we can to convince them that they ought not to complete that transaction," Pompeo told “Fox&Friends” on Fox TV.
Erdoğan said on Friday that Turkey was continuing to make payments under its deal with Russia to buy S-400 missile defence systems and the United States had not presented the same terms when it offered to sell Patriot missiles.
Pentagon says the S-400s are not interoperable with NATO systems and would compromise the security of the F-35.
"The S-400 holds an important place in our talks. The United States' arguments are very wrong. We finished the S-400 process and our payments continue," Erdoğan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul when asked about his planned talks in Moscow next week.
Turkey expects to receive the S-400 equipment in summer and expects it to be operational before the year's end.