Russia began delivering the first batch of S-400s to Turkey in July 2019. Washington, unhappy about the deal between Moscow and Ankara, has demanded that Turkey cancel all purchases of the S-400s, threatening to delay or cancel deliveries of fifth-generation F-35 jets to the country. However, the Turkish cabinet has refused to scrap the agreement.
Moscow is awaiting Ankara’s final decision on the delivery of the second batch of Russia’s S-400 air defense systems, the head of the Russian Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation, Dmitry Shugayev, stated on Wednesday.
“Taking into consideration restrictions related to the global pandemic, I would say making forecasts on the time frame of signing this contract is meaningless. However, dialogue on the deliveries of the second regimental batch of the S-400 is on quite an advanced stage, and we await the final decision of the Turkish side”, he said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster Ecoturk TV. The official also noted that Turkey has ordered $1billion worth of Russian military equipment.
Ankara has been at odds with its NATO ally the US since it struck a deal to buy the Russian-made S-400 air defense systems. The US attempted to put pressure on its ally and force Turkey to cancel the deal; however, Ankara refused to make concessions and received the first deliveries from Russia in 2019.
According to Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, the government is committed “in principle” to its plans to activate the system, despite a lag caused by the COVID-19 health crisis.