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Erdogan touts missile deal as Ankara, Moscow exchange favors

Turkey’s president has claimed an agreement with Russia to buy a missile defense battery system is going forward despite objections from its NATO partners and the likely difficulties of satisfying Moscow after the deal.
Russian S-400 air defence mobile missile launching systems drive during a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, May 7, 2015. Russia will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two on May 9. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor  - RTX1BY6F

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told members of his ruling Justice and Development Party July 25 that his country had signed an agreement with Russia to buy an S-400 missile defense battery system, apparently overriding objections from the United States and fellow NATO partners. Steps have been taken concerning the S-400s, he reported, declaring, "God willing, we’ll see them in our country soon.”

Erdogan was probably referring to a preliminary agreement to pay $2.5 billion to acquire Russia’s most advanced missile defense system, a deal that cannot be considered final until some money changes hands. Indeed, it remains unclear what sort of financing package is being envisioned.

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