Ankara may cancel the purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia if the countries fail to achieve an agreement on joint production of these systems, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in an interview with the newspaper Aksam.
"There has been no official refusal [from Russia]. Putin told us that the joint production might be possible. Know-how will be crucial [for Turkey]. If Russia’s attitude is negative, we may get a deal with another country," Cavusoglu said.
"We have to acquire them [S-400] quickly, because we need them. We need to protect our airspace. But if some countries do not want Turkey to purchase S-400 from Russia, then they must provide their alternative," Cavusoglu said.
Russia received an advance payment from Turkey for the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, as indicated by Vladimir Kozhin, Presidential Aide for military technical cooperation on September 29. "Yes, we received it. We cannot discuss the time frame for deliveries at this time," Kozhin said.
According to him, Turkey wants the S-400 deliveries to start before 2019, however this issue is still being discussed. Earlier, the Undersecretary for Defense Industries of Turkey, Ismail Demir, said that deliveries would begin within two years.