Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:20PM
This handout picture obtained from the Russian Defense Ministry's official Facebook page on November 26, 2015 shows Russia's S-400 air defense missile systems at an airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia. (Photo by AFP)
This handout picture obtained from the Russian Defense Ministry's official Facebook page on November 26, 2015 shows Russia's S-400 air defense missile systems at an airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia. (Photo by AFP)

Turkey says that it will likely clinch a deal with Russia over the purchase of S-400 long-range air missile defense systems.

“Turkey certainly needs a missile defense system and started a program with the aim of developing our domestically produced system. This program takes time, thus we have held negotiations with different countries to fulfill Turkey's urgent requirement and it seems as though Russia is the most suitable candidate for fulfilling the country's need at the moment,'' Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık said on Wednesday, referring to Russia's S-400 missile systems, Turkey's Daily Sabah reported.

While noting that NATO was currently supplying Turkey's missile and air defenses, he stressed that his country must be self-reliant in its defense sector.

Isik (seen below) stressed that talks with Russian officials over the purchase have "progressed significantly," but the signing of an agreement is not expected in the near future.

"Turkey is interested in S-400 systems. Talks are underway and the key issue is financing," said Sergei Chemezov, the CEO of Russian state corporation Rostec, on Monday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has also confirmed that talks over the purchase of the S-400s are "continuing positively." 

Last year, the Kremlin announced that Russia would consider selling various missile defense systems to Turkey in case the latter wanted them.

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Russia’s S-400 system is designed for high-efficiency defense against airstrikes utilizing various kinds of ballistic missile attacks. It is capable of striking dynamic targets in the air at a distance of around 400 kilometers moving at a speed of almost five kilometers per second at various altitudes.