MOSCOW – The spokesman of the Russian Presidency, Dmitri Peskov, praised the firmness with which Turkey resists the US pressure that tries to dissuade Ankara from buying the Russian S-400 missile systems.
“We can count on the fingers of one hand the countries capable of acting in a sovereign, autonomous way, both Russia and Turkey belong to this category,” Peskov told Rossiya Channel 1.
The Kremlin representative added that “unprecedented pressure is being exerted” on Turkey.
“We welcome the firm and categorical stance that the president [Turk Recep Tayyip] Erdogan holds, and we believe that it is the only attitude that allows us to build dialogue in a free and sovereign manner,” Peskov said.
In early April, the Pentagon halted the delivery of fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets to Turkey due to its intention to deploy Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems.
Ankara replied that it does not intend to retract the $2.5 billion agreement that it signed with Moscow in December 2017.
On April 5 the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, declared that the Russian proposal for the purchase of its S-400 systems is more favorable for Turkey than the US with the Patriot missile defense system.
Last December, the US State Department approved the possible delivery to Turkey of Patriot systems for an amount of $3.5 billion dollars, but Congress still does not approve this deal.
The anti-aircraft system S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler in the NATO classification) is capable of taking down aerial devices of furtive technology, cruise missiles, tactical and tactical-operational ballistic missiles.
The S-400 has a range of up to 400 kilometers and can destroy targets at heights of up to 30 kilometers; for its benefits, this system belongs to the generation 4+ and is twice as effective as its predecessors. It is considered the best missile defense system in the world and much cheaper than the Patriot system.