Turkey says Russian S-400s will not be integrated into NATO systems

FILE PHOTO: A Russian serviceman walks past S-400 missile air defence systems in Tverskaya Street before a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in central Moscow, Russia April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva/

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will not integrate Russian S-400 missile systems into the NATO security or air defense systems, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told a forum, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Tuesday.

Turkey has angered the United States and other NATO allies by buying the Russian-made air defense missile system, which the Western allies say is incompatible with NATO defenses.

Washington has suspended Ankara from the F-35 stealth fighter jet programme, which it was helping produce as well as buy.

“We are still working on the technical details. The S-400 systems will not be integrated into the NATO security system or air defense system,” Kalin told a foreign policy conference in Berlin.

“It will remain an independent defense system on its own. Concerns on this issue can be eased,” he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport was quoted as saying Russia hoped to seal a deal to supply Turkey with more S-400 missile systems in the first half of next year.

Washington has warned of possible U.S. sanctions but has not yet imposed them. A senior U.S. State Department official said last week that Turkey needed to get rid of the S-400s it had already bought to mend fences.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay