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Turkey to pay for Russian S-400s in rubles or lira: Erdogan

AFP  |  Istanbul 

will pay in rubles or lira, rather than dollars, for its major order of Russian S-400 that has troubled Ankara's Western allies, said on Thursday.

Erdogan said the final currency composition had yet to be agreed but confirmed he expected the deliveries of the systems to take place in 2019.

His comments came a day after Putin said that was cutting its dependency on dollars in international trade due to increasingly tough US sanctions.

is also looking to do the same after the lira plunged in value on financial markets over the summer, although it has recovered in the last month.

"We always had this principle -- that we would do this deal using local money," Erdogan told reporters in before leaving for the summit in

where he is expected to hold talks with Russian

"So in the end we agreed that it would either be in rubles or Turkish lira," he said.

But he added: "But I know that the work of our central banks has still not reached the final point. We have around a year to go. God willing, these deliveries will be made towards the end of 2019."

Putin said on Wednesday that while "it isn't our goal to desert the dollar... the dollar is deserting us."

Putin noted dollars did not feature in the S-400 deal with and recently said Moscow's key defence client will also pay for a similar order of S-400s in rubles.

The S-400 order is seen as one of the key symbols of NATO member Turkey's flourishing relationship with under Erdogan and Putin.

The order has raised questions among NATO allies over the systems' compatibility with NATO equipment and also the broader implications for Turkey's future strategic orientation.

in August signed a defence authorisation act that could prohibit the delivery of stealth aircraft to Turkey if it goes ahead with the purchase of the S-400, which can shoot down missiles as well as aircraft.

According to Russian media, Turkey is buying four S-400 systems in a contract worth a total of USD 2.5 billion.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 16:05 IST