By Elena Teslova
A U.S. decision to sell Turkey Patriot air defense systems will have no effect on the existing Russian-Turkish contract for S-400 air defense systems, a Russian presidential spokesperson said on Wednesday.
The two processes -- delivery of the S-400s and the possible sale of Patriots to Turkey -- are separate matters, Dmitry Peskov told journalists in Moscow.
"These are not related processes,” he said. “Here we are implementing the agreements we already have with our Turkish colleagues. The S-400 project and contract are under implementation and they will be continued."
The first delivery of the S-400 systems is set for July.
Russia has no reason to doubt Turkey's pledge not to divulge sensitive technological information to third parties, as stipulated by the S-400 contract, Peskov added.
"The implementation of military-technical cooperation between Russia and other countries is necessarily accompanied by legal obligations not to disclose certain categories of sensitive information related to this cooperation.
"The Turkish side has the same obligations. We see no reason not to trust our Turkish partners," he said.
On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department approved a possible sale of Patriot air and missile defense systems to Turkey for an estimated $3.5 billion.
Turkey had been long trying to purchase the air defense system from the U.S. After finding no success, in 2017 Ankara decided to buy Russian S-400 air defense systems.
This move provoked criticism from the Pentagon, which warned that purchasing the S-400 would unavoidably hurt Turkish-U.S. relations as well as Turkey's role in NATO, and promised to provide Turkey with defense systems that