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Kremlin: Erdogan and Putin will be talking delivery of S400 in Sochi

According to the Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could address the potential purchase of S-400 missile defense systems by Turkey during the May 3rd Sochi meeting, Russian news agency Sputnik Turkish reported.

The Turkish government has said it may buy the Russian-made S-400 system to build the country’s first long-range air and anti-missile defense system. Turkey was previously in talks with China on the purchase of an air defense system but withdrew from the $3.4 billion contract in 2015 due to pressure from its NATO allies.

Turkey considered developing a missile system locally and commissioned two domestic state-controlled companies, Aselsan and Roketsan, to locally develop the system, but that stance later shifted. Defense Minister Fikri Isik, during a news conference, said that NATO countries had not presented a “financially effective” offer either.

“The S-400 [system] looks like the closest option,” Isik said adding “we are not at a stage of signing a deal tomorrow.”

Asked whether the S-400 transaction would be part of Putin-Erdogan talks at the summit in Sochi on May 3rd, Peskov said that two leaders might talk about a potential deal.

Putin and Erdogan will meet for the fifth time in nearly 18 months. After the ‘plane crisis’ in 2015, two leaders have been trying to normalize the relationship between Russia and Turkey. The main item on the agenda for Putin and Erdogan will mostly be Syria.

Mustafa Öz, Texas

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