Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ankara has paid a deposit on an arms deal with Moscow, estimated to be worth $2.5bn.
Ankara is set to purchase Russia’s S-400 missile system, Tayyip Erdogan said after his visit to Kazakhstan, according to Hurriyet newspaper.
Moscow says the S-400 system has a range of 400km. It can concurrently shoot down up to 80 targets, aiming two missiles at each target.
Russia deployed the missile system at its military base near Latakia in Syria in December 2015 after Turkish jets had shot down a Russian Su-24 warplane on the Syria-Turkey border.
However now, Turkish relations with Russian global rival US are starting to sour as a result of Turkey increasingly looking to Moscow and the Trump administration’s sanctioning of Turkish nationals for allegedly dealing with Iran.
Former Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan was accused of accused of laundering money on behalf of Iran.
Speaking to reporters in Istanbul on Friday, Erdogan condemned the “politically-motivated” move.
“These steps are purely political,” he said. “The United States needs to revise this decision, there are very unusual smells coming from this issue.”
But on Saturday US President Donald Trump and Erdogan agreed in a phone call to continue to work toward stronger ties and regional security, Erdogan’s office said this weekend.
The two leaders agreed to meet in New York at the United States General Assembly, scheduled for later this month.