Representative image. Photograph:( AFP )
Turkey continues to hold talks with the Franco-Italian Eurosam consortium and the United States to buy missile defense systems, Ankara's foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday.
The US has decided to offer the country an alternative to the Russian S-440s, reports say. The decision comes following threats by the US lawmakers to introduce sanctions against Russia if it sells its S-400 Triumf mobile surface-to-air missile systems to other countries.
As per reports, US State Department acting assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs Tina Kaidanow is expected to travel to Turkey next week to offer Ankara the US Patriot surface-to-air missile system.
In January, Turkey awarded Eurosam an 18-month contract for a study into the development and production of a long-range air and missile defence system, in a move towards closer defence cooperation with France and Italy.
In December last year, Turkey and Russia signed an accord for Moscow to supply Ankara with S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries, finalising a deal set to deepen military ties between NATO member Turkey and the Kremlin.
Russia and Turkey reached an agreement of US $2.5 billion on the sale of S-400 in 2017 and is expected to ship the first batch by 2019.