Turkey and Russia have finalized a loan agreement that will help Turkey purchase multibillion dollar S-400 anti-ballistic missile systems from Russia, Turkey’s foreign minister has said, stating that the deal could be signed this week if technical aspects of the deal are finished on time.
“We reached a loan agreement with Russia during [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s visit [to Ankara]. Although not yet committed to paper, if the technical aspects of the deal are finalized it could be signed this week,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters in Ankara on Dec. 14.
Putin paid a brief visit to Ankara on Dec. 11 to conduct meetings on bilateral and regional issues with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Erdoğan informed the media that the credit deal on the S-400 anti-ballistic missile systems purchase could be signed this week.
A Russian newspaper said the signing ceremony of the deal was initially scheduled for Dec. 11 but was postponed at the last minute. The high-tech S-400 anti-ballistic missile systems are believed to cost Turkey approximately $2.5 billion.
A Russian official stressed that Russia could only provide a partial loan to facilitate Turkey’s purchase of the systems.
Çavuşoğlu said Ankara had started technical works on deploying the anti-ballistic missile system, adding that Turkey could count on Russian assistance while Turkish military and civil engineers underwent training to operate the systems.