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31 December 2017, 12:57 | Rufus Hill
Russian S-400 air defence system seen during a military parade in Moscow Russia
MOSCOW-Russia and Turkey signed a finance agreement Friday for Ankara's purchase of a sophisticated antiaircraft defense system, Turkey said, sealing the final steps in a controversial deal that has added to concerns Ankara is turning away from the West.
Turkey is the first North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member state to purchase the S-400 missile system. "A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation interoperable missile defense system remains the best option to defend Turkey from the full range of threats in its region".
He said that Turkey and Russian Federation have "robust and significant" defense-trade and military-sales relationship.
The war against the Islamic State (ISIS) has strained the relationship between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Turkey and the United States, at times placing them on opposite sides of the conflict. "The United States is committed to expediting the delivery of equipment purchased by Turkey, when possible", the Pentagon spokesman said. Notably, the loan will be in rubles.
Chemezov reportedly told Kommersant that Turkey would pay for 45 percent of the deal's cost up front with Moscow providing loans to cover the rest, notes Reuters.
Russian Federation will provide Turkey with four batteries of S-400 surface-to-air missile system under the deal and the latter will pay 45 percent of the cost up front with Moscow providing loans to cover the remaining 55 percent.
While pushing ahead with the S-400 project, Ankara has sought to secure defense deals with other countries as well.
The system can track and engage up to 300 targets at a time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometres.
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