Monday, Jun 17

NATO worries over Turkey’s use of Russian S-400s

The consequences of Turkey’s plans to deploy the Russian S-400s are worrying, as Washington has made clear it would impose sanctions, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.
07.05.2019 - 11:48

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday met in capital Ankara and discussed NATO-EU relations and Turkey's purchase of S-400 air defense system.


In a Twitter post, Çavuşoğlu said: "[We] made evaluations on a wide range of issues including NATO-EU relations and Turkey's S-400 purchase. Discussed the preparations of the NATO Heads of State and Government meeting to be held in London."

Speaking at the forum, Stoltenberg said NATO was determined to improve security in the Middle East and North Africa. Stressing that the world was becoming more complicated and interconnected, he said taking precautions against terror was better than interventions. Stoltenberg also met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his visit. "Pleased to be back in Ankara to meet with Erdoğan," the NATO chief wrote on Twitter ahead of his meeting with the Turkish president. "Turkey is a highly valued ally and NATO stands in solidarity with Turkey as it faces serious security challenges," Stoltenberg went on to say.

Later speaking at a joint news conference, Çavuşoğlu stressed on need of cooperation to fight terrorism and irregular migration. “We should understand that we cannot reach [desired] results by being selective in these issues,” Çavuşoğlu said. Touching upon Ankara’s procurement of air defense system S-400 from Russia, he said NATO knows the best Turkey’s need for these systems as the alliance closely follows the threats in the region.

For his part, Stoltenberg said it is Turkey’s own decision to purchase S-400 air and missile defense system. "But at the same time, I am concerned about the potential consequences of the decision to buy S-400. Because U.S. has made it clear that they will impose sanctions," he said. Commenting on Turkey's role in NATO, he said Turkey is “an important and highly valued NATO ally”.