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Putin says Russia, Turkey agreed to speed up delivery of S-400s

Putin says Russia, Turkey agreed to speed up delivery of S-400s”

The groundbreaking ceremony of Turkey's first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, was held Tuesday with the participation of Turkish and Russian presidents via video teleconference from capital Ankara.

Erdogan told the news conference Turkey may cooperate with Russian Federation on defense projects besides the S-400 missile defense system which Moscow has agreed to supply to Ankara.

Turkey and Russia have chose to shorten the duration of the S-400 air defense missile systems' delivery, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on April 3, speaking in the presidential complex in Ankara in a joint press conference held with his Turkish counterpart.

Putin and Erdogan will also launch the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant.

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"The scale of this project is hard to exaggerate", Putin said at the ceremony.

Their meeting comes as ties between Russia and the West are nosediving to post-Cold War lows after the March poisoning of Russian ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK.

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"We are witnessing a historic moment for both the development of our country and our energy cooperation with Russia", the Turkish President said in his speech, while the Russian President said the Akkuyu nuclear power plant is safe and environmentally friendly. "Turkey is a highly developed state in terms of technology and economics, but this is a new stage in the development of the Turkish economy", Putin said. In particular, we talked about the implementation of the contract for the delivery of S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey.

Speaking at a later news conference with Putin, Erdogan said the cost of the project may exceed the planned $20 billion for the 4,800 megawatt (MW) plant, part of Erdogan's "2023 vision" marking 100 years since the founding of modern Turkey and meant to reduce Turkey's dependence on energy imports. When Akkuyu starts operating with all its reactors we will cover 10% of our country's electrical needs.

But Putin refused to discuss the issue saying "these are exclusively commercial questions" rather than political ones.

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