Turkey will be faced with “unavoidable consequences” if it buys Russian S-400 anti-air defense systems, said NATO Military Committee Chairman General Petr Pavel, as reported by Defense News.
“The principle of sovereignty obviously exists in acquisition of defense equipment, but the same way that nations are sovereign in making their decision, they are also sovereign in facing the consequences of that decision” Pavel noted.
According to the NATO representative, although each country is free to adopt its own defensive measures, Turkey’s planned purchase of S-400 systems will not allow Ankara to be part of any integrated air-defense system with NATO allies, and may result in other technical restrictions.
Turkey announced its choice of the S-400 in September, but it has not yet signed the final documents of the deal, and until this has been done Pavel says that it is “fair among allies to have that discussion, to raise all concerns and potential difficulties”.
The chairman of NATO’s Military Committee said that even if the anti-air defense systems are not integrated with the S-400, its mere presence “creates challenges for allied assets potentially deployed onto the territory of that country”.
Pavel observed that Turkey still remains a key part of NATO. “No one challenges the role of Turkey as an important ally at the very difficult crossroads of challenges to the alliance,” he resumed.
On September 12, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the country has already paid the deposit to purchase the S-400 systems.
The S-400 Triumph long-range missile systems developed and produced by JSC NPO Almaz are designed to take strategic and tactical aircraft, ballistic missiles, hypersonic targets and other means of air assault under conditions of radio-electric and other types of opposition. An S-400 system is being used to defend the Russian Khmeimim military base in Syria.
Earlier in October, Turkey announced that it wants to buy the latest S-500 anti-air missile systems from Russia.