Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday dismissed concerns within NATO over his country’s decision to purchase Russian-made missile defence systems.
Erdogan said in comments reported by Turkish media that accords had been signed and a deposit has been paid for the acquisition of the S-400 surface-to-air missile defence systems.
Western governments have expressed concern over the deal — which Erdogan said was finalised in July — as it cannot be integrated into the NATO system.
He said Turkey would continue to take “important steps” to ensure its security.
“Now this country is manufacturing its own armed drones and that’s led to dispute. And we’ll be manufacturing other, better things. We are taking important steps,” Erdogan said.
“They went crazy because we made the S-400 missile agreement with Russia. What were we supposed to do, wait for you? We’ll paddle our own canoe, we are taking, and will take, all our measures on the security front.”
Turkey said in April that NATO ally nations had not presented a “financially effective” offer on alternative missile defence systems.
The S-400 is Russia’s next-generation, most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system.
It is designed to detect, track and then destroy any machine that poses a threat.
It has a 400 kilometre-range and can work with four different types of missiles with different starting weight and launch ranges.