First phase of S-400 transfer complete - Russian ministry

The first phase of delivery of Russian-built S-400 missile defence systems is complete, Russian state-funded news site Sputnik Turkey reported on Thursday, citing the Russian ministry dealing with technical-military cooperation.

The Russian side has completed the first stage of the S-400 deliveries to Turkey. The remaining parts will be delivered according to the calendar agreed by both parties”, Sputnik quoted the Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation’s statement as saying.

Shipments of the S-400s began arriving in an airbase near Ankara on July 12 after years of controversy over the NATO member’s purchase of a Russian-built defence system.

The arrival sparked a new phase in Turkey’s drift away from the United States, which had warned Ankara since the deal with Moscow was signed in December 2017 of the possible security breach for NATO that the presence of Russian systems could entail.

Turkey has been removed from the new generation F-35 fighter jet programme, and faces likely sanctions mandated by the U.S. Congress.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s announcement that deployment of the Russian systems would be completed as late as Spring 2020 has been interpreted as an effort to keep room for negotiation open with Washington.