On Friday, July 12, Russia began to supply S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey, which is a member of NATO, reports the Turkish news agency Anadolu.
"As part of the agreement on the supply of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey, the first batch of components for the S-400 were delivered to the Mürted Airfield Command in Ankara province on July 12, 2019," reads the statement of the Turkish Ministry of National Defense.
The contract between Russia and Turkey for the supply of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems was signed at the end of 2017. Later, the head of the Russian State Corporation Rostec Sergey Chemezov said that four units of the S-400 missile systems with a total cost of about 2.5 billion dollars will be delivered to Turkey.
The former Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yıldırım previously said that the acquisition of S-400 from Russia is a forced step. He said that Ankara would prefer to buy air defense systems from NATO member countries but could not reach any agreements for such systems. According to Yıldırım, Turkey does not intend to refuse the cooperation with the Alliance but needs collaboration with the Russian Federation because of the lack of a modern air defense system.
The US sharply criticized Turkey's plans to buy S-400 missile systems from Russia.
In early June of 2019, US permanent representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison said that Turkey should choose between the Russian S-400 and American F-35 fighter jets. The concern of the US was that the simultaneous use of Russian and American weapons would allow Moscow to obtain access to secret information about new F-35 fighter jets.
However, during a meeting at the G-20 Summit at the end of June, President Donald Trump promised not to punish Ankara for buying S-400 from Russia.