Russia will speed up the delivery of its S-400 air defense systems to Turkey at the latter’s request, says Russian presidential aide Vladimir Kozhin.
Talking to TV channel Rossiya 24, Kozhin, aide on military and technical cooperation to the president of Russia, said that Russia plans to start shipping the systems in early 2020.
“The contract is signed and it is being fulfilled. The Turkish side kept expressing its desire to speed it up and we have found an optimal option here: we met them halfway about speeding up the contract,” Kozhin said in an interview Monday.
Earlier, Sergey Chemezov, the head of Russia’s Rostec corporation, said that Turkey is buying four divisions of S-400s at a cost of $2.5 billion.
In November 2017, it was reported, citing Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, that Russia would ship the first unit at the end of 2019.
Chemezov also said that Russia will issue credit to Ankara covering more than half the cost of the contract.
On March 10, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey needs the air defense systems urgently because the country presently has none.