December 2, 2019 / 9:45 AM / 14 days ago

Turkey says new Russian missile deal to happen before too long: RIA

FILE PHOTO: A Russian serviceman walks past S-400 missile air defence systems in Tverskaya Street before a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in central Moscow, Russia April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Turkey’s presidential administration has said that the purchase date for more S-400 missile systems from Russia is just a technicality and that it thinks a deal will happen before too long, the RIA news agency reported on Monday.

Moscow hopes to seal a deal to supply Turkey with more S-400 missile systems in the first half of next year, the head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said last month.

Such a move could further strain ties between Turkey and the United States, which has suspended Ankara from the F-35 stealth fighter jet programme, in which it was a producer and buyer, to punish it for buying S-400 batteries earlier this year.

“The date of the purchase of a second set of S-400s is just a technical question. I think it will happen before too long,” RIA cited a security and foreign affairs official in the Turkish presidential administration as saying.

Rosoboronexport’s Alexander Mikheev told RIA news agency on Nov. 26 that Moscow and Ankara were actively discussing Ankara taking up an option in the original contract for it to receive more S-400 systems, with talks focused on financial questions.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn

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