EUROPE

Turkey at 'final stage' with Russia over S-400 missile system: Defense minister

Reuters Agency

Turkey's talks with Russia about the purchase of the S-400 air missile defence system have reached a "final stage", although this does not mean a deal will be signed immediately, Defence Minister Fikri Işık said on Friday.

Işık also told a news conference that NATO countries have not presented a "financially effective" offer on an alternative defence system. NATO member Turkey in 2015 cancelled a $3.4 billion tender for a long-range missile defence system that had been provisionally awarded to China.

Turkey then said it would consider developing a missile system locally, but that stance later shifted.

"It is clear that Turkey needs a missile defence system but NATO member countries have not presented on offer which is financially effective," Işık told a news conference.

"Work on the S-400 has reached a final point. But the final stage does not mean 'let's sign a deal tomorrow morning'".

He said Turkey would not be able to integrate the S-400 into the NATO system.

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