Turkish authorities could annul the deal to purchase Russian S-400 air defense missile system if Moscow refuses to transfer technology, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.
“We have heard no official refusal on that score. [Russia’s President Vladimir] Putin told us we may take steps for joint production. Know-how will be crucial. If Russia’s attitude is negative, we may clinch a deal with another country,” Mr. Cavusoglu said in an interview with Aksam.
Turkey and Russia had largely agreed on conditions for the S-400 deal, worth some $2.5 billion, over the summer. However, the agreement was officially signed only in September, when Ankara made an advance payment.
Vladimir Kozhin, the Russian presidential aide for military and technical cooperation, said last month that Moscow and Ankara were not discussing technology transfer at the time.
“We are not speaking about it, as yet we speak only about supplies of ready weapons, technologies – no,” he said.
According to Kozhin, Turkey wants to see the systems delivered before 2019, and the issue is still under discussion.
Russia’s S-400 Triumf long-and medium-range air defense missile system can use five different missile types to destroy aerial targets including both planes and other missiles at a range of 40 to 400 kilometers.
The U.S. Department of Defense has previously said it wants NATO allies to have interoperable defense systems.