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Turkey Warned on Purchase of Russian Missile Defense System

Analysts Weigh in With Risks and Highlights

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4 Apr 2019 (All day)
Turkey Warned on Purchase of Russian Missile Defense System
Tensions between Turkey and its NATO allies, particularly the US, have increased in recent days over the issue of Ankara’s intention to purchase an S-400 air defense system from Russia, a move that many allies worry could give the Kremlin access to sensitive Western military technology. "Turkey must choose,” US Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday. “Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?"

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay issued a retorting tweet saying "The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?"

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu appeared to try a more compromising approach, telling a panel at an event to mark NATO’s 70th anniversary that the S-400 "will not be integrated into the NATO system ... therefore we propose the United States to establish a technical working group to make sure that this system will not be a threat - neither to (U.S.) F-35s nor the NATO systems."

Wednesday’s events came amidst a political controversy in Turkey as the ruling AKP faction led by President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan suffered defeats in municipal elections in Turkey, including losing control of city hall in the capital of Ankara and several other major cities. Throughout the week, re-counts of some disputed ballots were taking place in the commercial capital of Istanbul.

Here is a video giving some analysis of Turkey’s current state of affairs


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