Russia has signed a deal with Turkey for the delivery of anti-aircraft missiles in a move that is widely seen as a snub to NATO.
The sale of the S-400 surface-to-air missiles cements Ankara’s ties with Moscow following a period of fraught relations after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet on the border with Syria in late 2015. The deal also suggests Turkey is moving away from its Western NATO allies.
“Nobody has the right to discuss the Turkish republic’s independence principles or independent decisions about its defense industry,” Turkish President Recep Erdogan was cited as saying by media on Tuesday, adding a deposit on the missiles had already been paid.
Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation confirmed to the Interfax news agency on Tuesday that a contract had been signed.
“It is important to underscore that the delivery of this weapons system to Turkey is in Russia's geopolitical interests,” the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation was cited as saying by Interfax.