Turkey Has Not Put Russian-Made S-400 Air Defense Systems On Alert Yet - Foreign Minister

ANKARA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th September, 2020) Turkey has not put on alert the S-400 air defense systems, which had been purchased from Russia, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

Initially, Turkey was going to put the S-400s on service in April, but the plans were revised because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"S-400s have not been activated yet. Our military knows how that should be done. We have bought these systems due to the dire need," Cavusoglu told the CNN Turk broadcaster on late Wednesday.

Moscow and Ankara signed a loan agreement on the delivery of S-400 systems in December 2017. In 2019, Turkey received several S-400 battalions worth $2.5 billion.

Turkey's cooperation with Russia on the matter has been strongly criticized by NATO and the United States, which have cited security concerns over the S-400s incompatibility with NATO's air defense systems.

In response to Turkey and Russia signing the deal, the United States decided to suspend Ankara's participation in the F-35 stealth jet program in July 2019, pledging to completely remove the country from the program.