Russia plans to deliver its S-400 missile defense system to Turkey in July, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday, according to the Haaretz daily, According to Turkishminute.com.
NATO member Turkey’s S-400 deal with Moscow has angered the United States, which has threatened to remove Ankara from its F-35 fighter jet program unless Turkey pulls out of the deal.
“The agreements reached between Russia and Turkey are being fulfilled on time in the given context. There are no bilateral problems,” Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday. Asked if the missiles would be delivered in July, he said, “Yes, just as planned.”
The comments came days after the head of Russian state conglomerate Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, said Moscow would start delivering the S-400 missile system to Turkey in two months, contradicting several Turkish officials who said the delivery could take place as soon as June.
On Monday Turkey complained that the United States had not yet taken up its suggestion of creating a joint working group to try to defuse tensions over Ankara’s purchase of the S-400s.
But strains in US-Turkish ties already extend beyond the F-35 to include conflicting strategy in Syria, Iran sanctions and the detention of US consular staff in Turkey.
Credit ratings agency Fitch warned on Tuesday that any US sanctions on Turkey would have a “significant impact” on sentiment around the Turkish lira, which has been sold off since late March in part due to the spat with Washington over the missile defense system.