Turkey and Russia have decided to hasten the delivery of the S-400 air defense missile systems', Russian President Vladimir Putin said on April 3, speaking in the presidential complex in Ankara in a joint press conference held with his Turkish counterpart on the first day of his official visit to Turkey.
Answering Western critics of the deal, Turkish President Recip Tayip Erdogan indicated that Turkey was in no mood to listen to criticism from the West over the purchase of the S-400 systems, saying "this issue is now closed."
According to Russian press reports, Turkey has also been hugely interested in a technology transfer and even joint production of the S-400s with Russia, a prospect that has been resisted by some in the Moscow security services, The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported. But Putin refused to discuss the issue saying "these are exclusively commercial questions" rather than political ones.
Russian officials had said in December that the first deliveries in the USD 2 billion deal were likely to begin at the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020.
A summit between the presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran will be held on Wednesday in the Turksih Capital.
source: commonspace.eu with Hurriyet Daily News (Istanbul)
photo: President putin of Russia is welcomed in Ankara by Turkish President Erdogan on the first day of his official visit to Turkey (picture courtesy of Anadolu news Agency)
The city that is the heart of Turkey returns an opposition candidate as Mayor. Many see it as a victory for democracy at a time when Turkish institutions are being tested.
David Bakradze, of the opposition European Georgia Party, has in the meantime raised the issue of Russia's return to full participation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which is going to be discussed at a meeting in Strasbourg this week. Bakradze said that it was not acceptable that Russia be allowed to return to PACE given its recent actions.