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Robert Cusack

NATO-member Turkey looks to Moscow to buy air-defence system

Presidents Putin and Erdogan will meet to discuss primarily economic issues [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 9 March, 2017

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Turkey's President Erdogan will visit Moscow on the same day as Israel's Netanyahu, to discuss 'economic cooperation' - including purchasing a new S-400 missile defence system.
Turkey seems to be trying to out-do its eastern neighbour Iran by purchasing a newer and better missile defence system from Russia.

The NATO member has signalled its interest in buying the latest S-400 air-defence system from Russia at a summit meeting in Moscow today - just days after Russia sold an older system to Iran.

"Turkey's defence industry relations issue with Russia is going to be discussed, including the sale of anti-aircraft systems S-400," Turkish Presidential Adviser Ilnur Cevik, told Russia's Rossiya-24.

"Some people in NATO say 'don't do it', but we say: 'Look, some countries in NATO are also using Russian weaponry and defense systems'."

The main issues on the agenda for talks revolve around economic co-operation - predominantly around trade, tourism and the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, Turkey. 

Turkey has been looking to buy a long-range missile defence system since 2013 and Turkish media reported in November that Moscow had submitted an initial offer.

Iran announced that its new S-300 air defence system, purchased from Moscow, had passed successful testing on Sunday.

The deal between Russia and Iran was signed in 2007 but was suspended in 2010 due to a UN arms embargo against Iran.

This deal was later revived in January 2016 after an international nuclear agreement with Iran went into effect.

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also announced that he will arrive in Moscow on Thursday.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu will express Israel's vehement opposition to allowing Iranian troops, or satellite groups, on our northern border… under any agreement," the statement read.

The meeting between Turkey's President Tayyip Recep Erdogan and Russia's President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to last two days, beginning on Thursday.

Russian spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, announced that the meeting would be held in private, followed by a meeting of the Russian-Turkish High Level Cooperation Council.

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