Turkey's talks with Russia on the purchase of the advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system have reached the "final stage", but this does not mean the signing of a deal is imminent, Turkey’s Defence Minister Hilmi Isik said on April 21, Reuters reported.
Turkey clearly needs such a missile defence system but Nato member countries are yet to present a financially attractive offer for the delivery of their alternative hardware, Isik told a news conference in Ankara.
In 2015, Turkey cancelled a controversial long-range missile system deal with China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp (CPMIEC).
Ankara started talks with China on the $3.4bn missile system in September 2013, but opted not to sign the final deal after Nato allies expressed concern over Ankara’s plans to buy the Chinese system, citing security and compatibility problems.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has, meanwhile, confirmed reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are to meet in Sochi on May 3. They will discuss the Syria conflict, news agencies reported Peskov as saying.
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