Russia to deliver S-400 missile defence system to Turkey in July: Kremlin

Russian S-400 Triumph medium-range and long-range surface-to-air missile systems ride through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow in 2017. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 12 June 2019

Russia to deliver S-400 missile defence system to Turkey in July: Kremlin

  • NATO member Turkey's S-400 deal with Moscow has angered the US
  • US threaten to pull out of F-35 deal if Turkey does not stop Russia deal

MOSCOW: Russia plans to deliver its S-400 missile defence systems to Turkey in July, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday.

NATO member Turkey's S-400 deal with Moscow has angered the US, which has threatened to remove Ankara from its F-35 fighter jet programme unless Turkey pulls out of the deal. 

"The agreements reached between Russia and Turkey are being fulfilled on time in the given context. There are no bilateral problems," Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday. Asked if the missiles would be delivered in July, he said: "Yes, that's what we plan somehow."

Training by Turkish pilots on F-35 fighter jets was recently stopped at a US air base in Arizona, officials said on Monday. 

The Trump administration has given Turkey a July deadline to make its decision over acquiring the S-400 missile system, as the US believes the purchase poses a threat to the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters, which Ankara also wants to buy.

Separately, credit ratings agency Fitch warned on Tuesday that any U.S. sanctions on Turkey would have a "significant impact" on sentiment around the Turkish lira, which has sold off since late March in part due to the spat with Washington over the missile defence system. 

(With agencies)


Citizens accuse Lebanon’s Hezbollah of ‘robbing their livelihoods’

Updated 3 min 23 sec ago

Citizens accuse Lebanon’s Hezbollah of ‘robbing their livelihoods’

  • The Hezbollah movement saw demonstrations criticising the party and revered leader Hasan Nasrallah
  • Citizens accused the party of providing political cover for a corrupt government that they say has robbed people of their livelihoods

BEIRUT: When mass anti-government protests engulfed Lebanon, a taboo was broken as strongholds of the Hezbollah movement saw demonstrations criticising the party and revered leader Hasan Nasrallah.
On live TV and in protest sites, citizens accused the party of providing political cover for a corrupt government that they say has robbed people of their livelihoods.
This shattered the myth of absolute acquiesence among Hezbollah's popular base, baffling even those who hail from the movement's strongholds.
"No one ever expected that in any of these areas in south Lebanon we would hear a single word against Nasrallah," or Amal Movement leader Nabih Berri, said Sara, a 32-year-old activist who participated in protests in the southern city of Nabatiyeh.
"It's unbelievable," the activist added, asking to use a pseudonym due to security concerns.
The Iran-backed movement is a major political player that took 13 seats in the country's May 2018 parliamentary elections and secured three cabinet posts.
It helped its Christian ally Michel Aoun assume the presidency in 2016 and has since backed his government despite popular dissatisfaction that peaked last week following protests over taxes, corruption and dire economic conditions.
South Lebanon - a bastion of the powerful Shiite movement  - was not spared.
Protests have been reported in the cities of Nabatiyeh, Bint Jbeil, and Tyre, where Hezbollah and its political affiliate the Amal Movement hold sway.
With the exception of Tyre, they were not as big as other parts of the country.
But "the novelty here is that some of these protesters are party loyalists," said Sara.
"They support Hezbollah, but they are suffocating."
But anti-government protests that started in Beirut on October 17 and quickly spread across the country left no politician unscathed, not even the Hezbollah leader.
"All of them means all of them, Nasrallah is one of them," protesters chanted in Beirut.
Criticism of Nasrallah even aired on the Hezbollah-run Al-Manar TV, in a scene that was previously unfathomable for watchers of the movement's propaganda arm.
In a live interview from central Beirut, one protester urged Nasrallah to "look after his people in Lebanon" instead of focusing on regional enterprises like Syria, where he has deployed fighters to defend President Bashar Al-Assad's regime.
Nasrallah acknowledged the mounting criticism against him in a speech on Saturday: "Curse me, I don't mind."