Purchase of Russian missiles up to Turkey: NATO chief

15 Settembre, 2017, 16:27 | Autore: Menodora Allio
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He stressed that the purchase of weapons from a non-NATO country, referring to Russian Federation, is not consistent with the principles of the alliance, and said "NATO's joint missile defense system remains the best option to defend Turkey from all threats in its region".

While NATO states are displeased with Ankara-Moscow deal over supply of Russian S-400, Turkey assures that it will remain Alliance's close ally. "So what? Are we going to wait for you?" "We are taking and will take all our measures on the security front", Erdogan said.

In a written statement, spokesperson for Pentagon Johnny Michael said they had shared their concerns with Turkish officials regarding the purchase of S-400.

Erdogan announced Tuesday that Turkey had made the first payment for a Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, thought to be worth some $2.5 billion. Turkey has said that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies had not presented a "financially effective" offer on alternative missile defense systems. As the dispute unfolded, the USA in 2015 withdrew its Patriot missiles from Turkey's border with Syria after a two-year deployment. In 2013, Ankara surprised other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members by announcing that it was going to purchase the FD-2000 system from China, sparking criticism from Washington.

"If Turkey were to buy these S-400s, as is being reported, . that would of course be a concern of ours", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. Washington, however, sees the group as the main force leading the fight against Islamic State jihadists on the ground in Syria.

Turkey has the second-largest military force in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, after the US, but ties among the alliance members have worsened last July after a failed coup attempt.