Alexei Yerkhov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, said his country would not be opposed if Turkey were to refrain from activating the S-400 missile defense system it purchased from Russia.
“Suppose I’m a car dealer and you wanted to buy a car from me. We made the sale. I took the money from you and gave you the vehicle. It is yours,” Yerkhov told CNN Türk during an interview. “You can drive it to the beach, you can carry potatoes in it, you can mount a machine gun on it and go to war, you can keep it in the garage. It’s your right.”
Turkey started accepting delivery of the S-400s in July 2019. The purchase caused a rift with the country’s NATO allies, especially the US, which repeatedly warned that the Russian-made system could undermine NATO systems.
The system was scheduled to be activated in April; however, the plan was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.