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Photo: AFP, Reuters
S-400 missiles; Erdogan
Photo: AFP, Reuters
Russia to start delivering S-400 defense system to Turkey in 2019
As tensions with US mount and economy teeters, NATO ally Turkey to receive S-400 missile defense system from Russia in defiance of Washington.

Russia will begin delivering its advanced S-400 missile defense system to Turkey in 2019, the Interfax news agency cited Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport as saying on Tuesday.

 

 

The United States has expressed concern that NATO member Turkey's planned deployment of the Russian-made S-400 could risk the security of several US-made weapons used by Turkey, including the F-35 jet.

 

S-400 missiles; Erdogan (Photo: AFP, Reuters)
S-400 missiles; Erdogan (Photo: AFP, Reuters)

 

Rosoboronexport also said it would switch to using local currencies in deals with foreign trade partners, instead of using the dollar, the RIA news agency reported.

 

Meanwhile, the Turkish lira weakened against the dollar on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump said he would give Turkey no concessions in return for the release of a detained American pastor, the latest salvo in a worsening rift between the NATO allies.

 

Andrew Brunson (Photo: AFP)
Andrew Brunson (Photo: AFP)

 

In an interview with Reuters on Monday, Trump criticized Ankara over the detention of the evangelical Christian pastor, Andrew Brunson, and said he was not concerned that his tough stance against Turkey could end up hurting European and emerging market economies.

 

Brunson, who is originally from North Carolina and has lived in Turkey for two decades, has been detained for 21 months on terrorism charges, which he denies. The pastor has become an unwitting flashpoint for the diplomatic tension, which has accelerated the crisis in the lira.

 

Trump said that, after he helped persuade Israel to free a detained Turkish citizen, accused of money laundering for Hamas, he thought Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan would then release Brunson, but he was then only released to house arrest.  

 

Trump, Erdogan (Photo: AFP, AP)
Trump, Erdogan (Photo: AFP, AP)

 

"I think they're making a terrible mistake. There will be no concessions," Trump told Reuters.

 

The lira weakened to 6.0925 against the US currency by 11:11am GMT, from a close of 6.0865 on Monday, when Turkish markets began a holiday to mark the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival that continues for the rest of this week.

 

Turkey has demanded that the United States hand over Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who lives in the United States and who Ankara says orchestrated a failed coup attempt, but Washington has balked at this.

 

A Turkish court last week rejected Brunson's appeal for release, drawing a stiff rebuke from Trump. The US president - who counts evangelical Christians among his core supporters - has said he would double previously announced tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports.

 

On Monday Turkey initiated a dispute complaint with the World Trade Organization over the tariffs.

 

Underlining the increased diplomatic tensions between Turkey and the United States, the US Embassy in Ankara came under gunfire on Monday. Nobody was injured and Turkish authorities later detained two men over the incident.

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 08.21.18, 18:54
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