NICOSIA, Cyprus – Turkey is persistent in buying Russian S-400 anti-aircraft defense systems. Russia’s ambassador to Cyprus, Stanislav Osadchy, said in an interview that Turkey’s buying of the missile system would not pose a threat to Greece and Cyprus.
As Stanislav Osadchy explained, the S-400 does not threaten anyone and will only serve Turkey.
“We are not going to provide this weaponry to Turkey to threaten anyone, we know that this system will simply protect Turkey. They do not act as offensive weapons. That is why we think this is an exaggerated issue on many sides.”
Taking into consideration the recent bill proposing the cancellation of the arms embargo against Cyprus, presented by US senators, the ambassador said he is against “militarization” of the island.
“We are, of course, opposed to the militarization of Cyprus. Cyprus has been a member of the European community since the creation of the Republic, and we have understood that, but even so, so many troops in the island, there are British bases, I think that’s enough.”
As for Turkey’s plans to carry out drilling in waters claimed by Cyprus, the ambassador said he was against any measures that would undermine the situation and support the continuation of the talks, considering that all steps are important and should be taken into account.
“The increase in tension is not a solution, but it blocks solutions, which is why we think that all parties should avoid measures that deteriorate the situation in the Mediterranean,” the ambassador concluded.
Meanwhile, Turkey will send about 100 military personnel to Russia to learn how to operate the S-400 air defense systems, a senior Turkish military official said.
Turkey will send about 100 military personnel to Russia to learn how to operate the S-400 air defense systems, a senior Turkish military official said.
Turkey’s Ministry of Defense intends to send 100 personnel to pass an S-400 course of operations by the end of May, a source familiar with the situation said.
“At the end of May, about 100 military personnel will be sent to Russia for instruction on how the S-400 works,” he said.
The first delivery of Russian systems is due in June.
Despite purchases of Russian armaments, Turkey continues to be part of the US F-35 Lightning II fighter program, which involves several countries. Under this program, Turkey must receive a significant number of these aircraft.
Initially, Turkey planned to buy at least 100 F-35 Lightning II jets as part of the program, which Ankara joined in 2002.