Russian defense missiles on track: Erdogan

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GBnews24 desk//

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he expects the scheduled delivery of Russian air defense missiles under a contract that has vexed the United States.

Erdogan said Saturday at the start of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, that the deal is a priority and the delivery of the S-400 air defense systems should start without delay.

The U.S. has strongly urged NATO member Turkey to pull back from the deal, but Ankara has refused to budge and the first shipments are expected next month. It would mark the first such deal between Russia and a NATO member.

Putin hailed growing bilateral trade and rising flow of Russian tourists to Turkey.

Russia and Turkey have closely coordinated their actions in Syria, signing a de-escalation deal for the northwestern province of Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold.

That deal has recently been tested by increased fighting, raising the prospect of a government offensive and a major humanitarian crisis

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