Türkiye denies new missile deal as Moscow announces second contract
Louise Greenwood
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to Sochi on August 5, 2022. /Sputnik/Vyacheslav Prokofyev/Pool

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to Sochi on August 5, 2022. /Sputnik/Vyacheslav Prokofyev/Pool

Russia has announced a second purchase of its S400 missile-defense system by Türkiye in a deal that, if it goes ahead, risks further western sanctions on Ankara. 

Citing the head of Russia's Military Cooperation Service, state news agency Tass said a "second regiment" of the S400 will be delivered, with the option for some components of the system to be manufactured within Türkiye.

Speaking at Moscow's Army-2022 weapons expo, Dmitry Shugayev said "a corresponding agreement has already been signed" that allows for "localized" production. 

However, Türkiye's defense procurement agency has denied any new agreement has been confirmed. "The process is ongoing and there are no new agreements," one defence official was quoted as saying, adding "the purchase of a second batch was included in the original plan and related contract."


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Türkiye took its first delivery of four Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in July 2017, in a deal reportedly worth $2.5 billion. 

Russia's new announcement comes as deepening bilateral ties were announced by Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi earlier this month.

At the talks, the Russian leader praised Türkiye for brokering the deal to allow the export of grain from Ukrainian ports across the Black Sea, and for keeping open the TurkStream natural gas pipeline, saying it had ensured uninterrupted Russian gas supplies to Europe. 

The initial S400 delivery led to U.S. sanctions on Türkiye, resulting in the country's removal from the new NATO F-35 fighter jet programme.


Compromising NATO principles

Washington claims that Türkiye's delivery of the S400 compromises core NATO principles and endangers the security of the F-35 project. Concerns were raised further when the S400 system was tested by Türkiye's military on the Black Sea coast in October 2020. 

Ankara claims its purchase of the S400 went ahead only after its efforts to acquire the alternative US Patriot missiles failed.

Any new deal between Ankara and Moscow is likely to heighten tensions again amid the ongoing fighting in Ukraine, where the supply of Turkish manufactured Bayraktar combat drones to Kyiv has proved crucial in pushing back Russian advances in the east of the country.

A team from Türkiye recently visited Washington to discuss the purchase of new models of the F-35's predecessor, the F-16 Block 70 fighter jet and of upgrade kits for Turkey's existing fleet.

However, members of the U.S. Senate have threatened to block the sale. Lawmakers are seeking concessions from Ankara over Turkish gas exploration in parts for the eastern Mediterranean that Greece claims violates its sovereignty.

Speaking ahead of the trip, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said "We cannot accept these conditions. Our wish is that the Senate removes them."

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