Buying S-400 Turkey's 'sovereign right': Putin & Erdogan speak to press in Moscow
Turkish President Recep Erdogan is visiting Moscow, discussing with Russian President Vladimir Putin the situation in Syria as well as the S-400 weapons deal that has driven a wedge between Ankara and Washington.
“We discussed the current situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone and the prospects for the comprehensive implementation of the Sochi memorandum,” Putin told reporters, referring to the situation in Syria.
Erdogan called the decision to buy Russian S-400 air defense missiles Turkey's "sovereign right." The sale was a "closed question" and no one can hope do dissuade Ankara from it, he added.
Turkey and the US have been increasingly at odds over the conflict in Syria, but the S-400 issue in particular threatens the relations between Washington and its NATO ally. Ankara's insistence on the purchase has already resulted in the US suspending delivery of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey.Also on rt.com Nothing short of total obedience? Pentagon rejects any talks with Turkey in S-400 vs F-35 row
Meanwhile, Russia and Turkey are boosting their ties. In addition to the high-profile arms deal, they are now preparing for the launch of the Turkish Stream underwater pipeline. It has the potential to turn Turkey into a major hub for delivering Russian natural gas to customers throughout southern Europe. The development undermines US attempts to push Moscow out of the European energy market and replace its fuel with its own more liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The Putin-Erdogan summit is also expected to touch upon broader international issues, as well as bilateral ties in culture and tourism.
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