By Kamila Aliyeva
A number of Middle East and Southeastern Asia countries have shown interest in purchasing Russia’s S-400 missile systems and talks are underway now, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on January 23 in the course of his visit to Vietnam.
“These are unique systems with incomparable performance characteristics in the world. This has been confirmed by the recently signed contract on the S-400 supplies with Turkey, which is a NATO member,” he added.
He also pointed out that Russia was ready to share experience with its partners of using its armaments in counterterrorism warfare in Syria.
“First of all it refers to Russian warplanes, hardware and armaments of Land Forces, Special Operation Forces and also Russia’s air defense systems. The latter includes not only the Pantsir systems, which were used in Syria, but also the S-300 and S-400 systems,” the minister noted.
At the same time he stressed that neither meetings nor talks with foreign counterparts from any regions of the world were held without discussing buying Russia’s armaments.
The S-400 is Russia's next-generation air defense system, carrying three different types of missiles capable of destroying aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range. The weapon is capable of tracking and destroying all existing aerial targets, including ballistics and cruise missiles.
Reportedly in July 2017, Turkey reached an agreement with Russia to purchase the S-400. Under the $2.5 billion agreement Ankara would receive two batteries of the antiaircraft missile from Moscow and produce two more batteries in Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on September 12 that Ankara had signed an agreement with Moscow on the acquisition of the S-400 SAM, and the deposit has already been paid.
The deal on S-400 raised eyebrows among Ankara’s fellow NATO members and caused concerns as they are supposed to only buy compatible weapons systems from other members.
Earlier, it was reported that Moscow also started the delivery of the S-400 air defense missile systems to China under the 2014 contract.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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