The head of Russia's defense export giant Rosoboronexport, Alexander Mikheev, said that the company would start implementing the contract for the supply of S-400 complexes to Turkey next year.
"It goes about S-400 systems for Turkey. The contract is being executed within agreed time frames. We will start executing the contract in 2019," Mikheyev said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Ankara's decision to acquire Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems was based on the urgent need to protect its airspace.
Russia and Turkey signed the deal to supply S-400 surface-to-air missile systems to Ankara in late 2017. It is believed that the agreement is worth $2.5 billion. Originally, it was reported that Russia would supply the systems to Turkey as early as in 2020. In accordance with the contract, turkey is to receive four batteries of S-400 systems. The Turkish Armed Forces would also have full control over the systems. It is worthy of note that Turkey is the first NATO member to have purchased S-400 missile systems from Russia.
The United Statates threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey for acquiring S-400 from Russia.
The S-400 is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at a distance of up to 400 kilometres and at an altitude of 30 kilometres.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23