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World Turkey to test Russian S-400 systems despite U.S. pressure: media

13:21  25 november  2019
13:21  25 november  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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Turkish F-16 warplanes will fly over the country' s capital Ankara on Monday to test its new Russian S - 400 missile defenses, Turkish media said, despite pressure from Washington for Broadcaster CNN Turk and other media said specifically that the flights were to test the S - 400 radar system .

File photo: Russian S - 400 missile air defence systems . Turkish F-16 warplanes will fly over the country’ s capital Ankara on Monday to test its new Russian S - 400 missile defences, Turkish media said, despite pressure from Washington for Turkey to drop the system . Ankara’ s purchase of the

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish F-16 warplanes will fly over the country's capital Ankara on Monday to test its new Russian S-400 missile defenses, Turkish media said, despite pressure from Washington for Turkey to drop the system.

a truck is parked on the side of a road: FILE PHOTO: A Russian serviceman walks past air defence systems before a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade in central Moscow© Reuters/Tatyana Makeyeva FILE PHOTO: A Russian serviceman walks past air defence systems before a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade in central Moscow

Ankara's purchase of the S-400s has been a major factor souring relations with the United States, which says the system is not compatible with NATO defenses and poses a threat to Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter jets.

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Turkey is poised for potential sanctions from the US over its purchase of the Russian S - 400 air defense system , its defense minister has said, amid Speaking to media late on Tuesday, Turkey ’ s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said there had been an improvement in negotiations with Washington

Turkish news media reported that a team of Russian specialists had also arrived to assemble the system . Turkey “came under unprecedented pressure and nevertheless prioritized national security “ Russian S - 400 systems guarantee preservation of their sovereignty,” he said of Turkey .

The provincial governor's office announced on Sunday that the Turkish Air Force F-16s and other aircraft will conduct low- and high-altitude flights over Ankara on Monday and Tuesday to test an air defense system project.

Broadcaster CNN Turk and other media said specifically that the flights were to test the S-400 radar system. Ankara began receiving the S-400s last July but they are not yet operational.

Dealers said the reports had a negative impact on the lira, which weakened to 5.7380 against the dollar from a close of 5.7140 on Friday. Tensions in U.S.-Turkish relations played a major role in a near 30% slide in the lira's value last year.

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Media captionA demonstration of the S - 400 missile system . Turkey has received the first parts of a Russian S - 400 missile defence system despite opposition from the US . The shipment arrived in an airbase in the capital Ankara on Friday, the Turkish defence ministry says.

ANKARA, Turkey — The first shipment of a Russian missile defence system has arrived in Turkey Turkey has refused to bow to U . S . pressure , insisting that choosing which defence equipment to Turkey has refused to say where it intends to deploy the S - 400 . Turkish media reports have said it

As recently as last Thursday, a senior State Department official told reporters Turkey needed to "get rid of" the system. Those comments came after President Tayyip Erdogan met U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House.

Trump said their talks were "wonderful" but it was unclear if the two NATO allies made any breakthrough on the S-400 issue and Erdogan subsequently said U.S. pressure to get rid of the S-400s was an infringement of sovereign rights.

Washington has suspended Turkey from the F-35 program, which it was a buyer and producer of, to punish it for the S-400 purchase. It has warned of possible U.S. sanctions over the deal but has not yet imposed them.

Trump has told Erdogan the United States is ready to sell Ankara U.S. Patriot systems if it drops the Russian system.

(Additional reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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