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Turkey says close to S-400 missile purchase deal with Russia

Xinhua, April 21, 2017 Adjust font size:

Turkey's talks with Russia about the purchase of the S-400 air missile defense system have reached the "final stage," Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said on Friday.

"It is clear that Turkey needs a missile defense system but NATO member countries have not presented on offer which is financially effective," Isik said during a news conference in Ankara, local broadcaster CNNTurk reported.

"Work on the S-400 has reached a final point. But the final stage does not mean let's sign a deal tomorrow morning," he added.

The minister also clarified that Turkey will use Russian S-400 missile systems without integration to NATO defense systems.

Earlier in March, Isik told reporters that the uncompromising attitude of NATO member countries led Turkey toward purchasing Russia's S-400 missile defense system.

The Russian missile system will be used to fulfill Turkey's urgent requirement while the country will continue to develop its indigenous missile defense system, he stressed.

Sergey Chemezov, the chief executive of Russian state corporation Rostec, confirmed that Turkey is ready to buy S-400 missile systems with a loan granted by Moscow, according to Russian newspaper Izvestia.

The S-400 missiles are the latest generation of the Russian missile system. Turkey will be the first NATO member to purchase the system, if the country finally reaches a procurement agreement with Russia. Endit