The US secretary of state urged Ankara to re-commit itself to its NATO obligations to purchase NATO-interoperable weaponry
WASHINGTON, December 18. /TASS/. In a phone conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the S-400 air defense systems that Turkey had purchased from Russia threaten the security of US personnel, Department of State Principal Deputy Spokesperson Cale Brown said in a statement.
Commenting on a phone conversation between the top diplomats of the United States and Turkey earlier this week, the spokesperson said: “Secretary Pompeo made clear to Foreign Minister Cavusoglu that Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 system endangers the security of U.S. personnel and military technology and allows Russian access to the Turkish armed forces and defense industry.”
According to the statement, Pompeo called upon his Turkish counterpart “to resolve the S-400 issue in a manner consistent with our decades-long history of defense-sector cooperation.”
The US secretary of state also urged Ankara to re-commit itself to its NATO obligations to purchase NATO-interoperable weaponry.
At the same time, the US top diplomat assured that the goal of Washington’s sanctions was to prevent Russia from receiving “substantial revenue.” They were not intended to undermine the military capabilities or combat readiness of Turkey, he added.
On December 14, the US authorities imposed restrictions on Turkey’s Defense Industries Directorate, its chief and three other Turkish citizens – Mustafa Alper Deniz, Serhat Gencoglu, and Faruk Yigit under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the restrictions were a clear message to the effect the United States will use the CAATSA to the full extent and “will not tolerate significant transactions with Russia’s defense sector.”
Moscow signed a contract with Ankara on the delivery of the S-400 systems in 2017. Turkey became the first NATO country to purchase these systems from Russia, drawing a negative reaction from the United States and NATO in general. In particular, Washington said that “Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible.”
On December 7, head of the Rostec State Corporation Sergei Chemezov said the first S-400 contract with Turkey had been fully executed, all components of the systems had been delivered to Turkey and Russia had received full payment. Turkey became the first NATO member to purchase those systems from Russia.
The S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system that went into service in 2007. It is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range ones, and can also be used against ground objectives. The S-400 system can engage targets at a distance of 400 km and at an altitude of up to 35 km.