Turkey’s S-400 missiles purchase threatening NATO alliance - report
The NATO alliance and transatlantic security face a serious threat in the absence of an agreement between Washington and Ankara on Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems, which has become directly tied to the country’s purchase of U.S. F-35 fighter jets, according to a report by the Turkish Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM).
Washington has been warning Ankara regarding its deal to purchase two batteries of Russian S-400 air defence systems, which the U.S. and NATO member countries maintain is incompatible with NATO systems, stating that it will cost Turkey its participation of U.S. industrial projects, including its deal to purchase 100 Lockheed Martin produced F-35 fighter jets.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a national defence budget act that suspends U.S. sales of weapons, including new generation F-35 fighter jets, to Turkey, as part of ongoing spat between the NATO alllies.
Turkey’s determination on purchasing the S-400 systems has not changed despite increasing political and military costs, the report penned by EDAM Chairman Sinan Ülgen and analyst Can Kasapoğlu said, noting that the U.S.’ use of the F-35 fighter jets as leverage over Turkey is “unwarranted.’’
“Either the United States will have to be convinced that delivering the F-35 fighter jets to a country that operates a S-400 systems is not a threat for NATO platforms and the threat of digital espionage and cyber attacks can be categorically prevented, or Turkey will have to forego its purchase - or rendering operative - of the S-400 systems,’’ the report said.